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The sorption behavior of organic compounds (phenanthrene, lindane, and atrazine) to sequentially extracted humic acids and humin from a peat soil was examined. The elemental composition, XPS and (13)C NMR data of sorbents combined with sorption isotherm data of the tested compounds show that nonspecific interactions govern sorption of phenanthrene and lindane by humic substances. Their sorption is dependent on surface and bulk alkyl carbon contents of the sorbents, rather than aromatic carbon. Sorption of atrazine by these sorbents, however, is regulated by polar interactions (e.g., hydrogen bonding). Carboxylic and phenolic moieties are key components for H-bonding formation. Thermal analysis reveals that sorption of apolar (i.e., phenanthrene and lindane) and polar (i.e., atrazine) compounds by humic substances exhibit dissimilar relationships with condensation and thermal stability of sorption domains, emphasizing the major influence of domain spatial arrangement on sorption of organic compounds with distinct polarity. Results of pH-dependent sorption indicate that reduction in sorption of atrazine by the tested sorbents is more evident than phenanthrene with increasing pH, supporting the dependence of organic compound sorption on its polarity and structure. This study highlights the different interaction mechanisms of apolar and polar organic compounds with humic substances.
Laboratory for Earth Surface Processes, College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University , Beijing 100871, China.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Environmental science & technology
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Organic matter in a state of advanced decay, after passing through the stages of COMPOST and PEAT and before becoming lignite (COAL). It is composed of a heterogenous mixture of compounds including phenolic radicals and acids that polymerize and are not easily separated nor analyzed. (E.A. Ghabbour & G. Davies, eds. Humic Substances, 2001).
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