Carbon-13 NMR spectroscopic studies on chemically modified and unmodified synthetic and natural humic acids

S SachsG Bernhard


Carbon-13 cross-polarization magic-angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy ((13)C-CP/MAS-NMR) was applied to study the chemical modification process of humic acids (HA) with diazomethane and the subsequent alkaline hydrolysis of the methylated HA. This modification process results in HA with selectively blocked phenolic OH groups, which can be used for metal ion binding studies with humic substances. Different chemically modified and unmodified natural and synthetic HA with carbon-13 of natural abundance were investigated. In addition, carbon-13 labeled modified synthetic HA, that were synthesized with [(13)C]diazomethane as methylation reagent, were studied to confirm the assumed modification process and to determine the type of functional groups that have the highest affinity for methylation with diazomethane. The results of the NMR studies with carbon-13 labeled modified HA show that predominantly carboxyl and phenolic OH groups are methylated with diazomethane resulting in methyl ester and methyl ether groups, respectively. Due to the alkaline treatment of the methylated HA, the methyl esters of carboxyl groups are hydrolyzed, whereas methyl ethers of phenolic OH groups remain unchanged, which results in modi...Continue Reading


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