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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 62 No. 5, p. 1240-1246
    Received: Feb 10, 1997

    * Corresponding author(s): kxia@ksu.edu
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XANES Studies of Oxidation States of Sulfur in Aquatic and Soil Humic Substances

  1. K. Xia ,
  2. F. Weesner,
  3. W. F. Bleam,
  4. P. A. Helmke,
  5. P. R. Bloom and
  6. U. L. Skyllberg
  1. Dep. of Agronomy, 2004 Throckmorton Plant Sciences Center, Kansas State Univ., Manhattan, KS 66506-5501
    Soil Science Dep., Univ. of Wisconsin, 1525 Observatory Dr., Madison, WI 53706
    Dep. of Soil, Water, and Climate, Univ. of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 55108



Sulfur K-edge x-ray absorption near-edge structure spectroscopy (XANES) was used to identify multiple organic S oxidation states in aquatic and soil humic substances. The XANES results suggest that S in humic substances exists in four major oxidation groups similar to sulfate ester, sulfonate, sulfoxide, and thiol-sulfide. Thiol S cannot be separated from sulfide S and must be considered as a single thiol-sulfide peak. The second derivative spectra suggest the existence of thiophene and sulfone S. The relative quantities of each major S form in our humic samples were estimated based on the integrated cross section of each s → p transition peak corresponding to different S oxidation states in the S K-edge XANES spectra. The XANES results of the four humic samples used in this study appear to reflect the environmental settings where the humic substances originally formed. The percentage of the most reduced organic S (thiol-sulfide and possibly thiophene) in humic substances follows the sequence: aquatic samples > organic soil sample > mineral soil sample. The percentage of most oxidized S (sulfate group) was the greatest in the humic substance from a mineral soil and the lowest in the aquatic humic substances.

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