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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 54 No. 1, p. 98-105
     
    Received: May 12, 1989
    Published: Jan, 1990


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doi:10.2136/sssaj1990.03615995005400010015x

Aliphatics in Soil Organic Matter in Fine-Clay Fractions

  1. H. -R. Schulten and
  2. M. Schnitzer 
  1. Fachhochschule Fresenius, Wiesbaden, Federal Republic of Germany
    Land Resource Research Center, Agriculture Canada, Ottawa, ON K1A 0C6, Canada

Abstract

Abstract

Fine-clay fractions were separated from three agricultural soils and extracted sequentially with n-hexane, chloroform and supercritical n-pentane. The resulting extracts were analyzed by field ionization (FI) and field desorption (FD) mass spectrometry (MS). The major components indentified included C11 to C94 n-alkanes, C13 to C34 n-fatty acids, n-C16 and n-C24 diols, and C38 to C67 n-alkyl monoesters. Minor components were C22, C32, and C34 n-alcohols, C27 and C29 sterols, C56 to C91 n-alkyl diesters, C83 to C99 n-alkyl triesters, and C17 to C21 unsaturated monocarboxylic acids in extracts of one clay only. The highest molecular weight compound identified was the C99 n-alkyl triester (m/z 1478). Especially noteworthy was that: (i) similar aliphatics were extracted from the three clays, (ii) the compounds identified were typical of components of natural waxes, which appear to be present in the organic matter in fine-clay fractions, and (iii) the soft ionization mass spectrometric methods employed were found to be eminently suitable for the identification of medium to high molecular weight aliphatics in the organic matter in fine-clay fractions.

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