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The persistence of polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in sewage sludge amended agricultural soils

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/01/1991
<mark>Journal</mark>Environmental Pollution
Issue number2
Number of pages17
Pages (from-to)141-157
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


In 1968, five metal enriched sewage sludges containing different concentrations of polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were applied to different plots on field soils at two experimental sites, Luddington and Lee Valley, in the UK. This resulted in substantial increases in the total PAH soil concentrations in all plots. Since application, losses have occurred, with the high molecular weight PAHs being more persistent. Calculated half-lives range from under 2 years for naphthalene to over 9 years for benzo[ghi]perylene and coronene. The losses of PAH compounds in these field experiments can be related, in part, to their physico-chemical properties, notably the octanol: water partition coefficient.