Short chain aliphatic acids are important components of the dissolved organic matter in silage effluents. Although ion exclusion chromatography offers some advantages for the analysis of these compounds, no attempt has yet been made to prove the suitability of this method for silage effluent analysis. In order to gain experience in this field, the separation characteristics of a Dionex ion exclusion column (IonPac-ICE As5) have been evaluated, the separation conditions have been improved, and several sample clean-up methods have been checked.
Ten effluents generated during silaging of five different crops were collected from Bavarian farms and analyzed. Lactic and acetic acids were the predominant aliphatic acids. Pyruvic, formic, propionic, and succinic acid were detected in all samples, whereas glyceric and iso-citric acid were found in a few samples only.
If some restrictions of substance specificity and separation efficiency can be accepted, the analytical method presented will be a reliable tool for the analysis of carboxylic acids in silage effluents.
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Fischer, K., Corsten, C., Leidmann, P. et al. Determination of short chain aliphatic acids in silage effluents by ion exclusion chromatography. Chromatographia 38, 43–51 (1994). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02275725