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J Chromatogr A. 2009 Apr 3;1216(14):2873-80. doi: 10.1016/j.chroma.2008.08.072. Epub 2008 Aug 26.

Aqueous solubility calculation for petroleum mixtures in soil using comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography analysis data.

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Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO), Boeretang 200, B-2400 Mol, Belgium.


An assessment of aqueous solubility (leaching potential) of soil contaminations with petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) is important in the context of the evaluation of (migration) risks and soil/groundwater remediation. Field measurements using monitoring wells often overestimate real TPH concentrations in case of presence of pure oil in the screened interval of the well. This paper presents a method to calculate TPH equilibrium concentrations in groundwater using soil analysis by high-performance liquid chromatography followed by comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography (HPLC-GCXGC). The oil in the soil sample is divided into 79 defined hydrocarbon fractions on two GCXGC color plots. To each of these fractions a representative water solubility is assigned. Overall equilibrium water solubility of the non-aqueous phase liquid (NAPL) present in the sample and the water phase's chemical composition (in terms of the 79 fractions defined) are then calculated using Raoult's law. The calculation method was validated using soil spiked with 13 different TPH mixtures and 1 field-contaminated soil. Measured water solubilities using a column recirculation equilibration experiment agreed well to calculated equilibrium concentrations and water phase TPH composition.

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