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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 180:289-295 (1999)  -  doi:10.3354/meps180289

Simultaneous determination of particulate organic carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus collected on filters, using a semi-automatic wet-oxidation method

P. Raimbault1,*, F. Diaz1, W. Pouvesle1, B. Boudjellal2

1Laboratoire d'Océanographie et de Biogéochimie (UMR CNRS 6535), Centre d'Océanologie de Marseille, Campus de Luminy, F-13288 Marseille Cedex 09, France
2ISMAL, BP 54, Plage ouest, Sidi Fredj/Staoueli, Gouvernorat du grand Alger, Algeria

ABSTRACT: A wet-oxidation method is presented for determining simultaneously particulate organic carbon (POC), particulate organic nitrogen (PON) and particulate organic phosphorus (POP) collected on filters. Conversion of POC, PON and POP to inorganic products, carbon dioxide, nitrate+nitrite and soluble reactive phosphate respectively, is performed by a persulfate wet-oxidation in slight alkaline condition. After oxidation, inorganic products are dissolved in the digestion mixture and concentrations are measured automatically by colorimetry using a 3 channel Technicon AutoAnalyzer®. Concurrent comparisons were made with dry combustion at 950°C for POC and PON (CHN analysis) and with former wet-oxidation procedure for POP. Results indicated high efficiency to oxidize natural suspended particulate matter from sea- and freshwater as well as phytoplankton cultures and sinking particles collected by sediment traps. This method also exhibits good reliability and precision in comparison with former procedures and is highly suitable for routine analysis and especially appropriate for shipboard work.

KEY WORDS: Wet-oxidation · Particulate matter · Carbon · Nitrogen · Phosphorus

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