Relationship of Soil Organic Matter Characteristics to Organic Contaminant Sequestration and Bioavailability


Sorption and desorption equilibria of phenanthrene with respect to three different types of geosorbents were measured, as were the rates of desorption and biological mineralization of this representative hydrophobic organic contaminant. The chemical nature of the organic matter associated with each geosorbent was characterized using solid state 13C-NMR spectrometry. The results of these studies reveal that both the desorption behavior and the microbial bioavailability of the sorbed contaminant are influenced by the physicochemical character of the organic matter. The more reduced and condensed the organic matter, the greater the extent of sorption-desorption hysteresis, the slower the desorption rate, and the less readily bioavailable the sorbed contaminant. These observations are consistent with projections predicated on a dual reactive domain model introduced earlier to describe the sorptive reactivities of different types of soil/sediment organic matter with hydrophobic organic contaminants.


Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Desorption; Hydrophobicity; Impurities; Mathematical models; Nuclear magnetic resonance; Sediments; Soils; Sorption; Structure (composition); Microbial bioavailability; Organic contaminant; Phenantrene; Soil organic matter; Sorption-desorption hysteresis; Organic compounds; Adsorption; Article; Bioavailability; Carbon nuclear magnetic resonance; Chemical analysis; Soil pollution

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


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© 2000 Alliance of Crop, Soil, and Environmental Science Societies (ACSESS), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2000