Chemical Studies on the Organic Matter of Peat
This dissertation presents the results of experimental research dealing with the chemical nature of the organic matter of peat. References are given to some of the more important publications which have contributed to the knowledge of various phases of the subject. The unfamiliar reader may thereby obtain additional information concerning processes of formation, general characteristics and other topics which are related to or involved in the chemistry of peat. Therefore, only a brief outline of such considerations is given.Peat may be defined aa an accumulation of partially decomposed and disintegrated vegetable remains of successive generations of plant growth in areas of poor drainage usually having a permanent water cover. The growth of water loving types of plants such as mosses, sedges, tales and reeds in a locality having an abundant supply of water is the starting point of the formation of a deposit of peat, as these plants die and fall into the water medium in which they grow, a partial decomposition by microorganisms takes place and a new generation of growing plants replaces the fallen ones. The complete decomposition of the organic matter is prevented by the lack of air once the material has been permanently covered by water and layers of plant remains above.