An analytical scheme for the separation of humic substances (HSs) and non-humic substances (non-HSs) was established to estimate the humification index (HI), which was defined as the ratio of HS carbon content to non-HS carbon content. The alkaline compost-extract contained a mixture of HSs and non-HSs, while acidification of the compost-extract resulted in precipitation of humic acid (HA). The acidified supernatant contained fulvic acid (FA) and non-HSs. In the present study, DAX-8 resin was used to separate FA and non-HSs. HI values, which were estimated to evaluate the maturity of wood waste compost, increased with composting duration. To determine the effects of compost maturity on HA structural features, correlations between HI and indicators of the degree of HA humification (atomic ratios, acidic functional group contents, spectroscopic parameters and molecular weight) were investigated. HI values were significantly related to the indicators of the extent of HA humification during composting.
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