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Received September 22, 1998,Revised September 30, 1998, Accepted , Available online

Volume 12,2000,Pages 129-137

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The association of pollutants (nutrients, heavy metals and organic compounds) with colloidal and suspended particle matter(SPM) plays a dominant role in determining their transport, fate, biogeochemistry, bioavailability and toxicity in natural waters. A scheme for the fractionation and composition of colloidal and suspended particulate matter from river waters has been tested. Sieving, continuous flow centrifugation and tangential flow filtration were used to collect gram amounts of colloidal and particulate matters. The separation scheme was able to process large samples(100L), within reasonable times(1 day) and the apparatus was portable. The aquatic colloid was also separated with high resolution, and sized using sedimentation field\|flow fractionation technique. The mass\|based particle size distribution for the river water sample showed a broad size distribution between 0.05 and 0.4 μm with the maximum around 0.14 μm. There was a systematic increase in the content of organic carbon, Mg, Ca, Na, Cu and Zn with decreasing particle size, highlighting the importance of the colloidal(<1μm) fraction.

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