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Organic matter fluorescence properties of some U.K. fresh and waste waters

Hudson, Naomi Jane (2010)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

Organic carbon is ubiquitous throughout the aquatic environment. It is an heterogeneous mixture of compounds, some of which are fluorescent, with allochthonous and autochthonous origins. The most common aquatic fluorophores are humic materials (peaks C and A) from degraded plant matter and protein-like material (peaks T1 and T2) of microbial origin. Spectral fingerprints of aquatic organic matter composition may be visualised on an excitation emission matrix (EEM) on which each fluorophore is identifiable as a characteristic peak. Protein-like fluorescence (T1 and T2) is linked to bacterial activity, sewage treatment process efficiency and therefore organic matter bioavailability but its source and fluorescence response is poorly understood. In comparison, peaks C and A are widely studied and have historically been considered to be old, degraded and stable. In this thesis I investigate the character of surface water and effluent fluorescent organic matter using EEMs. I identify the likely origins and bioavailability of common fluorophores and the applicability of fluorescence as a technique for measuring the polluting potential of organic carbon in waters. I also determine changes in sample character and organic carbon concentration, through responses of the common fluorophores, under different environmental conditions and recommend best practice for sample storage.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Baker, Andrew and Carliell-Marquet, Cynthia and Reynolds, Darren
School/Faculty:Schools (1998 to 2008) > School of Geography, Earth & Environmental Sciences
Department:Department of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Subjects:GB Physical geography
GE Environmental Sciences
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:780
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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