Environmental Phosphorus Analysis by 31P NMR
31-Phosphorus Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (31P NMR) was used to analyze biochemical and environmental samples. The pH dependency of the 31P NMR chemical shifts indicated that all phosphate compounds displayed downfield chemical shifts in basic solutions. Lipophosphate was found to be soluble only at low pH levels. It was confirmed that acidic solutions encouraged decomposition of polyphosphates via hydrolysis, whereas basic solutions did not. Experiments on mixed orthophosphate standards revealed that the number of known species in a mixture is not an indication of chemical shift, as there may be equilibration between the compounds. Environmental phosphorus samples provided by the AWRI were found to contain orthophosphate and pyrophosphate. Other assignments are indeterminate.
Mentor: John Bender
Page last modified May 13, 2011