Investigating roles of organic and inorganic soil components in sorption of polar and nonpolar aromatic compounds

Environmental Pollution
Xin ShiDongqiang Zhu


The main objective of the present study was to assess the roles of various soil components in sorption of organic compounds differing in polarity. Removal of the whole soil organic matter decreased sorption by approximately 86% for nonpolar 1,3,5-trichlorobenzene (TCB), but only 34-54% for highly polar 1,3,5-trinitrobenzene (TNB); however, removal of the extractable humic/fulvic acids did not much affect sorption of the two sorbates. With normalization of solute hydrophobicity, TNB exhibits several orders of magnitude stronger sorption compared with TCB to maize burn residue (black carbon), extracted humic acid and Na(+)-saturated montmorillonite clay, suggesting specific sorptive interactions for TNB with the individual model soil components. It was proposed that sorption of TCB to the bulk soil was dominated by hydrophobic partition to the condensed, non-extractable fraction of organic matters (humin/kerogen and black carbon), while interactions with soil clay minerals were an important additional factor for sorption of TNB.


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