Best Paper Award 2016 from Environmental Science and Technology (ES&T)

10.04.2017

The editors of the journal Environmental Science and Technology (ES&T) have selected a paper by Nicolas Walpen, Martin H. Schroth and Michael Sander (all in the Environmental Chemistry group) for the award of Best Environmental Technology Paper of the year 2016.

Ombrotrophic bog in Värmland, Sweden

Nicolas Walpen and his co-authors are members of the Environmental Chemistry Group within the Institute of Biogeochemistry and Pollutant Dynamics. Together with three other best papers in three additional categories, their paper was selected among a total of approximately 1600 papers published in 2016.

New analytical method to quantify phenolic substances

In this award-winning paper, Nicolas Walpen introduces a novel analytical technique to quantify the concentration of phenolic substances in dissolved natural organic matter. Phenolic substances are a broad and chemically diverse class of naturally occurring organic molecules that contain hydroxylated aromatic structures. The development of this technique was motivated by the fact that phenolic substances play important roles in various processes in both natural and engineered systems. The developed technique relies on reacting the phenolic substances with an added chemical oxidant, followed by quantifying the consumption of the added oxidant using electrochemical detection.

 
Collecting and processing of pore-waters in one of the peats
 
Arial view on sampling team during lunch break in one of the bogs

The role of phenolic substances in carbon storage in peatlands  

In the paper, Nicolas Walpen and his co-authors applied the analytical technique to determine the concentration of dissolved phenolic substances in the waters of northern peatlands. Detailed information on the concentration dynamics of phenolic substances are important because they are believed to largely inhibit microbial and enzymatic activities in these systems, thereby resulting in incomplete degradation of the peat forming vegetation and hence carbon accumulation in the form of peat organic matter. Concern has been raised that a warming climate may result in decreasing concentrations of phenolic substances in peatlands, which would alleviate enzymatic and microbial inhibition and possibly trigger the release of stored carbon from these systems. The developed technique now offers the capability to monitor the concentration of phenols and to elucidate processes that lead to their depletion in northern peatlands.

New analytical method to quantify phenolic substances

In this award-winning paper, Nicolas Walpen introduces a novel analytical technique to quantify the concentration of phenolic substances in dissolved natural organic matter. Phenolic substances are a broad and chemically diverse class of naturally occurring organic molecules that contain hydroxylated aromatic structures. The development of this technique was motivated by the fact that phenolic substances play important roles in various processes in both natural and engineered systems. The developed technique relies on reacting the phenolic substances with an added chemical oxidant, followed by quantifying the consumption of the added oxidant using electrochemical detection.

Walpen, N., M. Schroth, M. Sander. Quantification of phenolic antioxidant moieties in dissolved organic matter by flow-injection analysis with electrochemical detection. Environ Sci Technol, 2016, 50, 6423-6432; DOI Link

 
 
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30.04.2017
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