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Journal of Chemistry
Volume 2016, Article ID 1537370, 11 pages
Research Article

Characterization of Dissolved Organic Matter in River Water by Conventional Methods and Direct Sample Analysis-Time of Flight-Mass Spectrometry

Departamento de Química Inorgánica y Analítica, Facultad de Ciencias Químicas y Farmacéuticas, Universidad de Chile, Sergio Livingstone 1007, Independencia, Casilla 233, 8380492 Santiago, Chile

Received 16 March 2016; Revised 16 May 2016; Accepted 24 May 2016

Academic Editor: Athanasios Katsoyiannis

Copyright © 2016 T. Garrido Reyes and J. Mendoza Crisosto. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The dissolved organic matter in surface waters is composed of fractions of different molecular weight and polarity, characteristics that determine their capacity for complexing different types of pollutants and their environmental impact. In this study, the dissolved organic matter in the surface water of the Bio-Bio River (Central Region of Chile) was characterized chemically and spectroscopically after fractionating by molecular weight and polarity. The technique of direct sample analysis-time of flight-mass spectrometry (DSA-TOF-MS) was used to obtain more information on the composition of dissolved organic matter. It is concluded that dissolved organic matter found in the water of the river from the site of minor human impact (Rucalhue) has a predominantly natural origin, with a high content of aromatic carbon, in contrast to dissolved organic matter found in the waters of the sites that have higher human impact (Laja and Concepción), characterized by a greater molecular size and higher organic carbon content. These results are consistent with those obtained from DSA-TOF-MS, where higher correlation was observed between the mass spectrum of the standard commercial humic acid and dissolved organic matter found in the sectors of Laja and Concepción, unlike the spectrum mass of lignin which is more like dissolved organic matter found in the sector Rucalhue.