Organic molecules are found everywhere and play an important role in almost all biogeochemical processes occurring on the surface of the Earth (Aiken et al. 1985; Thurman 1985; Schwartzenbach et al. 1993; Senesi and Miano 1994). They are found in soluble and insoluble phases, coatings on mineral and colloidal particles, and in gas phase molecules in soils, sediments and aquatic systems. The activities of macro- and micro-fauna and flora release organic molecules of various sizes and composition. Photochemical reactions in the atmosphere also add certain small chain molecules to the organic carbon content in the...

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