First Advisor

Edward M. Perdue

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Chemistry






Water -- Analysis, Sugars -- Analysis, Williamson River



Physical Description

1 online resource (64 p.)


Due to the importance of carbohydrates in biological systems, many efforts have been made to develop a quantitative method for analysis of carbohydrates in natural waters. The low concentrations of dissolved sugars in natural waters require a sensitive analytical method. In this study, gas chromatography of alditol acetate derivatives of sugars was investigated for quantitative and qualitative analysis of individual dissolved sugars in natural waters. The alditol acetate derivatives of sugars give only one derivative for each sugar, yielding qualitative and quantitative results.

The detection limit was 25 nM for each sugar. Because of this very low detection limit, only 100 ml of sample was required for analysis.

From measurements of the alditol acetate derivatives, qualitative and quantitative analysis of pentoses (arabinose and xylose) and hexoses (mannose, galactose, and glucose) were obtained from The Williamson River and its tributaries, which are located near Klamath Falls, Oregon. Total organic carbon concentrations vary greatly in this river system as a result of the river passing through Klamath Marsh, which introduces very high amounts of humic substances into the river system.

The range of total concentrations of dissolved sugars is 0.07 to 7.3 μM; the lowest occurring in the spring waters, and the highest in humic-rich waters.

Monosaccharide, polysaccharide, and humic-bonded saccharide concentrations, which were obtained from three sample sites, showed very low concentrations of monosaccharides, moderate concentrations of polysaccharides, and moderately high concentrations of humic-bonded saccharides.


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