PMID: 16749691Jun 6, 2006Paper

Investigating the role of mineral-bound humic acid in phenanthrene sorption

Environmental Science & Technology
Xiaojuan FengMyrna J Simpson


Contaminant-soil interaction studies have indicated that physical conformation of organic matter atthe solid-aqueous interface is important in governing hydrophobic organic compound (HOC) sorption. To testthis, organo-clay complexes were constructed by coating montmorillonite and kaolinite with peat humic acid (PHA) in Na+ or Ca2+ dominated solutions with varying pH and ionic strength values. The solution conditions encouraged the dissolved PHA to adopt a "coiled" or "stretched" conformation prior to interacting with the clay mineral surface. Both kaolinite and montmorillonite organo-clay complexes exhibited higher phenanthrene sorption (Koc values) with decreasing pH, indicating that the coiled configuration provided more favorable sorption conditions. Evidence from 1H high-resolution magic angle spinning (HR-MAS) nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) indicated that polymethylene groups were prevalent at the surface of the organo-clay complexes and may enhance sorptive interactions. Preferential sorption of polymethylene groups on kaolinite and aromatic compounds on montmorillonite may also contribute to the difference in phenanthrene sorption by PHA associated with these two types of clay. This study demonstrates the importance of...Continue Reading


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