Effect of physical forms of soil organic matter on phenanthrene sorption

Bo PanHuishi Yuan


The sorption coefficient, K(OC), of phenanthrene (PHE) has been reported to vary with different types of organic matter, leading to uncertainties in predicting the environmental behavior of PHE. Among the studies that relate organic matter properties to their sorption characteristics, physical conformation of organic matter is often neglected. In this work, organic matter samples of different physical forms were examined for their sorption characteristics. Dissolved humic acids (DHA) showed significantly higher K(OC) than the corresponding solid humic acids (SHA) from which the DHAs were made. The K(OC) of DHAs was found to be related to polarity, whereas K(OC) of SHAs increased with aliphatic carbon content. Soil particles were treated with H(2)O(2) to remove organic matter, and humic acid was coated on H(2)O(2)-treated soil particles to make organo-mineral complexes at pH 4, 7 and 10. Although the nonlinear sorption was apparent for SHAs and H(2)O(2)-treated soil particles, the organo-mineral complexes formed using these two components at pH 4, 7 and 10 exhibited relatively linear sorption at organic carbon content, f(OC)>0.5%. These results indicate that organic matter of the same composition may have different sorption prop...Continue Reading


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