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Can Rock-Eval pyrolysis assess the biogeochemical composition of organic matter during peatification?

Abstract : Understanding the responses of soil organic carbon to an increase in global temperature is crucial to estimate potential feedbacks on global warming. In such a context, Rock-Eval pyrolysis has been recently proposed as a screening tool to investigate soil organic matter (SOM) chemistry and vulnerability. In order to test the validity of Rock-Eval as an indicator of SOM chemistry and of OM transformations, we compared classical Rock-Eval derived parameters (total organic carbon [TOC], Hydrogen Index [HI] and Oxygen Index [OI]) to Fourier infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy measured on peat sampled in two contrasting moisture conditions. The increase of TOC in the peat record depicted OM enrichment in aromatic moieties and lipids, whereas HI and OI, respectively, depicted the decomposition of carbohydrates and decarboxylation during early decay processes. Thought to be complementary to the classical parameters, other indicators based on the pyrolysis curve (S2) gave redundant or contradictory results. As an example, SOM cracking around 450 °C (namely the F3 component) was linked with carboxylic acids only in the dryer site. In the wetter one, no correlation was found between the F3 component and any FTIR absorption bands. This study underlined the current limitations of deconvolution derived parameters for the characterization of the biochemistry of OM. Finally, our work suggested that the routine use of Rock-Eval pyrolysis must be always associated with another characterization tool of OM, such as FTIR, to avoid misunderstanding.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, July 10, 2013 - 2:03:34 PM
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Frédéric Delarue, Jean-Robert Disnar, Yoann Copard, Sébastien Gogo, Jérémy Jacob, et al.. Can Rock-Eval pyrolysis assess the biogeochemical composition of organic matter during peatification?. Organic Geochemistry, Elsevier, 2013, 61, pp.66-72. ⟨10.1016/j.orggeochem.2013.06.004⟩. ⟨insu-00837683⟩

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