Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 411, Issue 10, pp 2201–2208 | Cite as

Separation and characterization of marine dissolved organic matter (DOM) by combination of Fe(OH)3 co-precipitation and solid phase extraction followed by ESI FT-ICR MS

  • Lijie LiEmail author
  • Zhi Fang
  • Chen He
  • Quan Shi
Research Paper


Marine dissolved organic matter (DOM) constitutes a major carbon pool in the global carbon cycle. Characterization of its chemical composition will improve our understanding of its role in global biogeochemical cycles. Currently, solid phase extraction (SPE) followed by Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FT-ICR MS) analysis has become a powerful approach to characterize the molecular composition of DOM. However, some components in marine DOM, such as highly oxygenated tannin-like molecules, were lost during the SPE process. In this study, a sequential combination of co-precipitation and SPE procedure was proposed to improve the yield of marine DOM extraction. Ferric hydroxide was used as the co-precipitation agent to separate marine DOM, and SPE was carried out for the extraction of DOM from dissolved and precipitate fractions. The total yield in total organic carbon (TOC) and the number of assigned molecules of SPE-DOM increased by 25% and 51%, respectively, compared with those by direct SPE process. The combined process has good selectivity on tannin-like compounds. The result is instructive for the understanding of DOM molecular composition and potential for a routine method for DOM extraction from environmental water samples, especially for marine DOM containing a small amount of tannin-like compounds.


Dissolved organic matter Co-precipitation SPE FT-ICR MS 


Funding information

This work was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2018YFA0605800).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

216_2019_1663_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (741 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 740 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Heavy Oil ProcessingChina University of Petroleum (Beijing)BeijingChina

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