In the oceanic waters and in the bottom sediments there is a wide occurrence of complex polyfunctional compounds which are generated in the process of OM decay from compounds originally included in living matter. By analogy with specific soil substances these natural geopolymers are called humic acids (HA), fulvic acids (FA) and humins. From the analytical viewpoint, humic acids are the organic matter which is extractable from the sediments or from the suspended material by treatment with aqueous alkaline solutions, mostly following the preliminary soxhlet extraction of lipids and treatment of the sediment with 10% HCl. Those known as fulvic acids (FA) comprise the acid-soluble organic matter contained in the alkaline extract. Humins, or ROM are the organic compounds which remain in the sample being treated in succession with organic solvents, HCl and KOH solutions and which are not to be extracted from the sediments unless the mineral matrix is destroyed. The living, normally functioning organisms do not contain FA and HA. Such substances may be formed in some quantity as the metabolic products of exchange in the organisms or they may be the result of the alkaline hydrolysis of native OM.
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- Specific Organic Compounds
Dr. Evgenii A. Romankevich
- Springer Berlin Heidelberg