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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Effect of sequestration on PAH degradability with Fenton's reagent: roles of total organic carbon, humin, and soil porosity.

The phenomenon of contaminant sequestration-and the physicochemical soil parameters which drive this process-has recently been studied by several authors with regard to microbial contaminant degradation. Very little work has been done to determine the effects of contaminant sequestration on the chemical treatability (oxidizability) of soil contaminants; the current study was conducted to address this data gap. A suite of six model soils, ranging in organic matter content from 2.32 to 24.28%, were extensively characterized. Measured parameters included: (1) levels of total organic carbon (TOC); (2) contents of humic acid (HA); fulvic acid (FA) and humin; and (3) total porosity and surface area. Each soil was then spiked with coal tar and, after varying periods of aging/sequestration, subjected to slurry-phase Fenton's reagent oxidation. Percent recoveries of 12 PAHs, ranging from 3 to 6 aromatic rings, were determined. Results indicated that the susceptibility of each PAH to chemical oxidation was a function of TOC in four of the soils (those with TOC greater than approximately 5%), but was strongly dependent on soil porosity for low-TOC soils. The importance of these two parameters changed with increasing sequestration time, with the relative contribution of porosity-mediated sequestration becoming more important over time. Porosity-mediated effects were more rapid and significant with lower-molecular-weight PAHs (e.g. those with three or four aromatic rings) than with higher-molecular-weight, more hydrophobic compounds. These observations are discussed in light of current physicochemical models of the contaminant sequestration process.[1]


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