Background: Humeomics is a sequential step-wise chemical fractionation that simplifies the complex matrix of a humic acid (HA) and weakens its supramolecular interactions, thereby allowing a detailed characterization of the involved molecules. A recalcitrant residual end product of Humeomics, namely RES4, was successfully solubilized here in alkaline conditions and subjected to a semi-preparative high-performance size exclusion chromatography (HPSEC). Results: The resulting six size fractions separated by HPSEC were analyzed by different NMR techniques. 1D 1H-NMR spectra did not reveal significant molecular differences among size fractions, although all of them differed from the spectrum of the bulk RES4 especially in signal intensity for aliphatic materials, which were assigned by 2D NMR to lipidic structures. Diffusion-ordered spectroscopy (DOSY)-NMR spectra showed that the homogeneity of RES4 was significantly changed by the HPSEC separation. In fact, nominally large size fractions, rich in lipidic signals, had significantly lower and almost constant diffusivity, due to stable supramolecular associations promoted by hydrophobic interactions among alkyl chains. Conversely, diffusivity is gradually increased with the content of aromatic and hydroxyaliphatic signals, which accompanied the reduction of fractions sizes and was related to smaller superstructures. Conclusions: This study not only confirmed the occurrence of supramolecular structures in the recalcitrant humic residue of Humeomics, but also highlighted that more homogeneous size fractions were more easily characterized by NMR spectroscopy.

Reduced complexity of multidimensional and diffusion NMR spectra of soil humic fractions as simplified by Humeomics

Antonio Nebbioso
;
Pierluigi Mazzei;Davide Savy
2014

Abstract

Background: Humeomics is a sequential step-wise chemical fractionation that simplifies the complex matrix of a humic acid (HA) and weakens its supramolecular interactions, thereby allowing a detailed characterization of the involved molecules. A recalcitrant residual end product of Humeomics, namely RES4, was successfully solubilized here in alkaline conditions and subjected to a semi-preparative high-performance size exclusion chromatography (HPSEC). Results: The resulting six size fractions separated by HPSEC were analyzed by different NMR techniques. 1D 1H-NMR spectra did not reveal significant molecular differences among size fractions, although all of them differed from the spectrum of the bulk RES4 especially in signal intensity for aliphatic materials, which were assigned by 2D NMR to lipidic structures. Diffusion-ordered spectroscopy (DOSY)-NMR spectra showed that the homogeneity of RES4 was significantly changed by the HPSEC separation. In fact, nominally large size fractions, rich in lipidic signals, had significantly lower and almost constant diffusivity, due to stable supramolecular associations promoted by hydrophobic interactions among alkyl chains. Conversely, diffusivity is gradually increased with the content of aromatic and hydroxyaliphatic signals, which accompanied the reduction of fractions sizes and was related to smaller superstructures. Conclusions: This study not only confirmed the occurrence of supramolecular structures in the recalcitrant humic residue of Humeomics, but also highlighted that more homogeneous size fractions were more easily characterized by NMR spectroscopy.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11588/892787
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