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Full structural characterization of complex mixtures such as humic and fulvic acids
has been elusive so far because of their enormous complexity and conventional
structural methodologies (i.e., limit of interpretation due to the low resolving powers). To
investigate the chemical structure and characteristic of complex natural organic matter,
Suwannee river humic acid (SRHA) and fulvic acid (SRFA) standards were analyzed.
In this study, negative-mode electrospray ionization (ESI) coupled with a 15T-Fourier
transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FT-ICR MS) having ultra-high
resolution was applied for elucidation of natural complex mixtures. Multiply charged
ions, ionization suppression, and sample fragmentation have been suggested as sources
of this low molecular weight bias. In order to compare the ionization of natural complex
polymer, lignin purchased from Sigma-Aldrich was analyzed as well. Scan spectra of the
high-molecular-weight (HMW) fraction of humic, fulvic acids and lignin suggest that the
HMW fraction consists of several subunits that originate from the LMW fraction.
Yoon-seok Chang has completed his Ph.D at the age of 32 years from Oregon University, postdoctoral
studies from Michigan State University from 1990 to 1992 and research associate from M.I.T
(Massachusetts Institute of Technology) during 1 year. He is the professor of School of Environmental
Science and Engineering at POSTECH, Korea since 1997. He has published more than 100 papers in
reputed journals including Environmental Science and Technology.
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