Landfill leachate effects on sorption of organic micropollutants onto aquifer materials

Thomas Larsen, Thomas Højlund Christensen, Fred M. Pfeffer, Carl G. Enfield

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The effect of dissolved organic carbon as present in landfill leachate, on the sorption of organic micropollutants in aquifer materials was studied by laboratory batch and column experiments involving 15 non-polar organic chemicals, 5 landfill leachates and 4 aquifer materials of low organic carbon content. The experiments showed that hydrophobic organic micropollutants do partition into dissolved organic carbon found in landfill leachate potentially increasing their mobility. However, landfill leachate interacted with aquifer materials apparently increases the sorbent affinity for the hydrophobic micropollutants. The combination of these two mechanisms affected the observed distribution coefficients within a factor of two, in some cases increasing and in other cases decreasing the sorption of the chemicals. No means for prediction of the effect is currently available, but from a practical point of view, the effect of landfill leachate on retardation of organic micropollutants in aquifer material seems limited.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Contaminant Hydrology
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)307-324
Publication statusPublished - 1992

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