Analytical chemistry

Passive sampler for dissolved organic matter in freshwater environments.

PMID 17165807


A passive sampler for the isolation of dissolved organic matter (DOM) from freshwater environments is described. The sampler consists of a molecular weight selective membrane (1000 kDa) and an anion exchange resin (diethylaminoethylcellulose (DEAE-cellulose)). NMR indicates the samplers isolate DOM that is nearly indistinguishable from that isolated using the batch DEAE-cellulose procedure. In a comparative study DOM isolated from Lake Ontario cost approximately 0.30 dollars/mg to isolate using the passive samplers while DOM isolated using the traditional batch procedure cost approximately 8-10 dollars/mg. The samplers have been shown to be effective in a range of freshwater environments including a large inland lake (Lake Ontario), fast flowing tributary, and wetland. Large amounts (gram quantities of DOM) can be easily isolated by increasing the size or number of samplers deployed. Samplers are easy to construct, negate the need for pressure filtering, and also permit a range of temporal and spatial experiments that would be very difficult or impossible to perform using conventional approaches. For example, DOM can be monitored on a regular basis at numerous different locations, or samplers could be set at different depths in large lakes. Furthermore, they could potentially be deployed into hard to reach environments such as wells, groundwater aquifers, etc., and as they are easy to use, they can be mailed to colleagues or included with expeditions going to difficult to reach places such as the Arctic and Antarctic.