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Environ Sci Technol. 2007 Feb 15;41(4):1186-93.

Sorption/desorption reversibility of phenanthrene in soils and carbonaceous materials.

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Center for Applied Geoscience, University of Tübingen, Sigwartstrasse 10, D-72076 Tübingen, Germany.


Sorption/desorption of phenanthrene in two soil samples and carbonaceous materials was found to yield co-incident equilibrium isotherms and no significant hysteresis was observed. Additionally, release of native phenanthrene was investigated. Equilibrium sorption and desorption isotherms were determined using pulverized samples of Pahokee peat, lignite, and high-volatile bituminous coal, a mineral soil, and an anthropogenic soil. Instead of the conventional decant-and-refill batch method, sorption/desorption was driven by temperature changes using consistent samples. Sorption started at 77 degrees C and was increased by reducing the temperature stepwise to 46, 20, and finally 4 degrees C. For desorption the temperature was increased stepwise again until 77 degrees C was reached. Besides the co-incident sorption and desorption isotherms at each temperature step, the solubility-normalized sorption/desorption isotherms of all different temperatures collapseto unique overall isotherms. Leaching of native phenanthrene occurred at much lower concentrations but was well predicted by extrapolation of the spiked sorption isotherms indicating that the release of native phenanthrene involves the same sorption/desorption mechanisms as those for newly added phenanthrene.

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