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Nuclear Magnetic Resonance for Environmental Monitoring

Environment: Water and Waste

  1. Robert L. Cook,
  2. Loice M. Ojwang,
  3. Caroline L. Poché

Published Online: 15 JUN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470027318.a0847.pub2

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

How to Cite

Cook, R. L., Ojwang, L. M. and Poché, C. L. 2010. Nuclear Magnetic Resonance for Environmental Monitoring. Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry. .

Author Information

  1. Louisiana State University, Department of Chemistry, Baton Rouge, LA, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JUN 2010


Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) is one of the most powerful tools available for analytical chemists at present. The power of the technique and its wide applicability come from the fact that it probes isolated nuclei with low-energy radio waves. The isolation of the probed nuclei allows one to obtain very detailed information on their local electronic and physical environments. The coupling of nuclei also allows for a systematic study of their connectivities. The use of radiofrequency exploits (i) our fundamental understanding and ability to manipulate this form of electromagnetic energy and (ii) the low-energy nature of this radiation to gently and nondestructively probe nuclei, and hence, molecules in a range of situations, including in vivo. These attributes of NMR allow it to have a wide range of applications within the field of environmental monitoring, from identification and detection to unraveling complex biochemical process due to environmental stressors. The NMR field continues to evolve with advances in theory, practice, and hardware and, as it does so, it expands into applications ranging from monitoring natural organic matter (NOM) in the environment to emerging environmental issues, such as atmospheric organic matter (AOM) characterization or chemical weapon detection and identification, to studying the influence of environmental stressors on a range of living organisms through metabolite profiling.