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Title:Improved Quantitation of Organic and Inorganic Carbon in Soils and Aquifer Materials
Author(s):Caughey, Michael E.; Barcelona, Michael J.
Contributor(s):Western Michigan University. Institute for Water Sciences; Illinois State Water Survey
Subject(s):Soil biochemistry
Soils -- Carbonate content
Soils -- Analysis
Abstract:Effective environmental management decisions require timely, reliable data at an appropriate level of detail. The quality of environmental assessments, such as estimates of the degree of aquifer contamination by organic wastes, depends on the accuracy of the analytical data upon which those assessments are based. Often the organic contaminants in environmental samples are highly complex mixtures that require multiple analyses to identify and quantitate individual compounds. While such specific information is sometimes necessary, it can take time to acquire and interpret. Less specific measurements, such as total carbon (TC) and total organic carbon (TOC), provide initial estimates of the seriousness of newly discovered contamination problems. The nonspecificity of elemental carbon determinations can be particularly valuable for monitoring the effectiveness of remediation efforts. Biological and chemical remediation produce new chemical species with properties substantially different from those of the original contaminants. In spite of such changes in chemical composition, TOC values can still gauge the extent to which organic contaminants have been removed or mineralized by the remediation process. Previously published round-robin results have shown that different laboratories may report significantly different values for the carbon content of split samples of aquifer materials. The focus of this research was to identify the major causes of such analytical variations, and then to find ways in which to minimize them. The sample grinding and carbonate acidification processes were found to be particularly crucial in achieving reproducible results. Practical considerations, including safety, cost and time requirements were also considered.
Issue Date:1994
Publisher:The Center
Series/Report:TR Series (Hazardous Waste Research and Information Center) ; 017
Genre:Technical Report
Type:Text
Language:English
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/2026
Sponsor:HWRIC Project HWR-90-076
Date Available in IDEALS:2007-09-08


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