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Re: Peat

Steve Pushak wrote:
> Activated carbon filtration (if used sufficiently) will
> remove the yellow/brown color of the water. There are so many different
> kinds of organic complexes that they defy chemical analysis to
> completely identify them all.

Hi Steve and all aquatic planters,

Boy are you right about humic materials being complex. I have just
started working with people who study these substances and it is 
a mess from a chemists point of view. (People who like pure compounds.)
Humics are very complicated mixtures of substances some of which seem
to be random polymers. Their composition depend on the source. Saying
anything really general about them is very difficult. By definition,
the only things they have in common is that they are acids and soluble
under certain conditions.

Activated carbon will remove humics, but I'm not certain it is known
how much one needs. From what I understand, this is actually a current
problem in water treatment around the country, because of the high
natural carbon contents of waters and then our practice of chlorination
which could be producing carcinogenic substances in our drinking water.
If I ever hear anything more about removing dissolved organic matter, I
will post it.


Joe Sachleben
jsachleb at chemistry_ohio-state.edu