Estimation of the soil-water partition coefficient normalized to organic carbon for ionizable organic chemicals

Antonio Franco, Stefan Trapp

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The sorption of organic electrolytes to soil was investigated. A dataset consisting of 164 electrolytes, composed of 93 acids, 65 bases, and six amphoters, was collected from literature and databases. The partition coefficient log KOW of the neutral molecule and the dissociation constant pKa were calculated by the software ACD/Labs®. The Henderson-Hasselbalch equation was applied to calculate dissociation. Regressions were developed to predict separately for the neutral and the ionic molecule species the distribution coefficient (Kd) normalized to organic carbon (KOC) from log KOW and pKa. The log KOC of strong acids (pKa <4) was not correlated to these parameters. The regressions derived for weak acids and bases (undissociated at environmental pH) were similar. The highest sorption was found for strong bases (pKa > 7.5), probably due to electrical interactions. Nonetheless, their log KOC was highly correlated to log KOW. For bases, a nonlinear regression was developed, too. The new regression equations are applicable in the whole pKa range of acids, bases, and amphoters and are useful in particular for relatively strong bases and amphoters, for which no predictive methods specifically have been developed so far.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)1995-2004
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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