Fractionation of Suwannee River Fulvic Acid and Aldrich Humic Acid on α-Al<sub>2</sub>O<sub>3</sub>: Spectroscopic Evidence

Sorptive fractionation of Suwannee River Fulvic Acid (SRFA) and Purified Aldrich Humic Acid (PAHA) on α-Al<sub>2</sub>O<sub>3</sub> at pH 6 was probed in the supernatant using different spectroscopic techniques. Comparison of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) analysis with UV/vis spectrophotometric measurements at 254 nm, including specific UV absorbance (SUVA) calculation, revealed a decrease in chromophoric compounds for the nonsorbed extracts after a 24 h contact time. This fractionation, only observable below a certain ratio between initial number of sites of humic substances and of α-Al<sub>2</sub>O<sub>3</sub>, seems to indicate a higher fractionation for PAHA. C(1s) near-edge X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy (NEXAFS) confirmed this trend and points to a decrease in phenolic moieties in the supernatant and to an eventual increase in phenolic moieties on the surface. Time-resolved luminescence spectroscopy (TRLS) of Eu(III) as luminescent probe showed a decrease in the ratio between the <sup>5</sup>D<sub>0</sub>→<sup>7</sup>F<sub>2</sub> and <sup>5</sup>D<sub>0</sub>→<sup>7</sup>F<sub>1</sub> transitions for the fractionated organic matter (OM) that is thought to be associated with a lower energy transfer from the OM to Eu(III) due to the loss of polar aromatics. These modifications in the supernatant are a hint for the modification of sorbed humic extracts on the surface.