Biodegradation and Structural Modification of Humic Acids in a Compost Induced by Fertilization with Steelmaking Slag under Coastal Seawater, as Detected by TMAH-py-GC/MS, EEM and HPSEC Analyses

Hisanori Iwai*, Mitsuo Yamamoto, Motoyuki Matsuo, Dan Liu, Masami Fukushima

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The compost’s humic acid (HA) content decreased when it was fertilized in coastal seawater with steelmaking slag, as confirmed. This study clarified the cause for this change by a detailed analysis of the structural changes in HAs based on the TMAH-py-GC/MS, HPSEC, and 3D-EEM spectra. An increase in the levels of pyrolysates of tannic acid with a low polymerization degree was attributed to the biodegradation of a high polymerized aromatic structure. Moreover, analyses of 3D-EEM, supported by HPSEC, indicated that approximately 20 kDa of the fluorescent matter was generated at the protein-like peaks (Ex/Em = 220/340 and 275/350 nm) in HAs derived from a mixture of compost with steelmaking slag. It would be caused due to the formation of HAs from the bacterial by-product by a catalytic reaction of the steelmaking slag. From these findings reported herein, we conclude that bio-degradation was a major reason for the decreased HA content, and the formation of HA from a part of the degradation products. This would be a reason for the structural modification of HA under the seawater condition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)977-984
Number of pages8
JournalAnalytical Sciences
Volume37
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • biodegradation
  • compost
  • EEM
  • HPSEC
  • Humic acid
  • humification
  • steelmaking slag
  • TMAH-py-GC/MS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry

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