Badea SL, Mustafa M, Lundstedt S, Tysklind M
Sci. Total Environ. 499 (-) 220-227 [2014-11-15; online 2014-09-07]
pH affects both soil-water partitioning coefficient (Kd) of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dissolved organic matter (DOM), thereby influencing PCBs' leachability from contaminated soils. To explore these incompletely understood interactions, the leachability of 11 selected PCBs in a naturally aged soil was investigated in pH static leaching tests spanning a wide pH range (2 to 9). The K(d) was calculated for each of the PCBs, based on their observed concentrations in the soil and leachates obtained from each test. The concentration and composition of DOM in each leachate were also determined, the latter using FTIR spectroscopy. Correlations between the DOM's FTIR spectra and K(d) values were investigated by orthogonal projections to latent structures. The log K(d)-values varied among the PCB congeners and were most variable at low pH, but the values for all studied congeners decreased with increasing pH, by up to 3 log units (for PCB 187). In the pH 5-7 interval, an abrupt decrease in log K(d) values with increases in pH was observed, although the total organic carbon content remained relatively stable. The FTIR data indicate that fulvic and humic acids in DOM partially deprotonate as the pH rises from 5 to 7.