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M. Klavins and O. Purmalis


Humic substances form most of the organic component of soil, peat and natural waters, but their structure and properties are very much dependent on the source. The aim of this study was to characterize humic acids from raised bog peat to evaluate the homogeneity of humic acids isolated from the bog bodies and to study peat humification impact on the properties of humic acids. Peat humic acids (HA) have an intermediate position between the living organic matter and coal organic matter, with their structure formed in a process where the relatively labile moieties (carbohydrates, amino acids, etc.) are destroyed, and thermodynamically more stable aromatic and polycyclic structures emerge. Comparatively, the studied peat HAs were at the start of this transformation process. Concentrations of carboxyl and phenolic hydroxyl groups changed depending on the source depth of peat from which HAs were isolated. The carboxylic acidity of peat HAs increased with depth of the source and the extent of peat humification