Hyphenated techniques for characterizing coal wastewaters and associated sediments Academic Article uri icon


  • Capillary gas chromatography (cGC)-mass spectrometry (MS) and cGC-atomic emission detection (AED) were used for the analysis of extracts from highly contaminated wastewaters and associated sediments. The main extractable constituents in both the lignite wastewater and the sediments include phenols, PAHs, indenols and heterocyclic compounds. Pyrolysis (Py)-GC-MS and Py-GC-AED were used for characterizing the building blocks of the dissolved polymeric organic matter. Polymers of natural and anthropogenic origins could be clearly distinguished. The Py-MS studies performed with humic organic matter at both atmospheric pressure and high vacuum (in-source mode) indicate a high portion of pyrolysis residue (about 40%, w/w) upon heating to 700 degrees C, irrespective of the pressure level. The products released include many low molecular weight compounds which are of limited value for characterizing the polymeric network.

publication date

  • October 1996