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Distribution of Aged 14C-PCB and 14C-PAH Residues in Particle-Size and Humic Fractions of an Agricultural Soil.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2005
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Environmental Monitoring
Number of pages9
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Organic matter is considered to be the single most important factor limiting availability and mobility of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in soil. This study aimed to characterize the distribution of 14C-PCB (congeners 28 and 52) and 14C-PAH (fluoranthene and benzo[a]pyrene) residues in an Orthic Luvisol soil obtained from two lysimeter studies initiated in 1990 at the Agrosphere Institute (Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, Germany). The lysimeter soils contained a low-density OM fraction, isolated during soil washing, which contained a significant fraction (3-12%) of the total 14C-activity. Soils were also fractionated according to three particle sizes: >20, 20-2, and <2 m. Relative affinity values of 14C-activity for the different particle sizes varied in the order 20-2 m > (<2 m) (>20 m) for the PCBs. Relative affinity values of 14C-activity for the different particle sizes varied in the order 20-2 m > (<2 m) > (>20 m) for the PAHs. The distribution of 14C-PCB or 14C-PAH residues in the organic and inorganic matrixes of the particle-size fractions was determined using methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK). 14C-PCB and 14C-PAH-associated activities were primarily located in the humin fraction of the 20-2 and <2 m particle-size fractions of the soil. A small fraction was associated with the fulvic and humic acid fractions; these were quantitatively more important for the PAHs than the PCBs. There appeared to be a high degree of association of 14C-activity with the mineral fraction following MIBK separation of the humic fractions, ranging between 8 and 52% for 14C-PCBs and 57-80% for 14C-PAHs. The mineral (inorganic) component of the soils apparently played a significant (previously unreported) role in the sequestration of both PCBs 28 and 52 and the PAHs fluoranthene and benzo[a]pyrene.