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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Extraction of Long-Chain Aliphatics from Two Soils


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 55 No. 6, p. 1603-1611
    Received: Jan 18, 1991

    * Corresponding author(s):
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  1. H.-R. Schulten and
  2. M. Schnitzer 
  1. Fachhochschule Fresenius, Dep. of Trace Analysis, Dambachtal 20, 6200 Wiesbaden, Germany
    Land Resource Research Centre, Research Branch, Agiculture Canada, Ottawa, ON, K1A 0C6, Canada



Current trends in soil organic-matter research are focused on developing methods for the extraction of specific organic-matter components. One such method is the supercritical gas extraction of soils using CO2. To examine the applicability of this approach to whole soils, we used supercritical CO2 for extracting two soils. The resulting extracts were analyzed by chemical methods, infrared (IR), 13C nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), and by field-ionization and field-desorption mass spectrometry. Major components identified in the extracts were C15 to C41 n-alkanes, the C8 alkene, the C29 n-alcohol, C14 to C40 n-fatty acids, C17 to C41 unsaturated fatty acids, the C18 and C26 dioic acids, the C28 and C30 n-ketones, C38 to C64 n-alkyl monoesters, the C52 n-dioic acid dimer, and the C78 n-dioic acid trimer. Of special interest was the presence in the extracts of 10-nonacosanol (C29), a biomarker for coniferous epicuticular waxes. Supercritical CO2 was found to be a mild and specific extractant for the removal of long-chain aliphatic materials from soils.

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