Sediment Dilution Method to Determine Sorption Coefficients of Hydrophobic Organic Chemicals

Thomas L. ter Laak, Philipp Mayer, Frans J. M. Busser, Hans J.C. Klamer, Joop L.M. Hermens

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Sorption coefficients of hydrophobic organic chemicals (HOC) to sediments and soils can easily be underestimated in traditional batch experiments, especially because analysis of the aqueous concentration often includes compounds sorbed to colloidal organic matter. In this work, a "sediment dilution approach" has been combined with measurements of freely dissolved concentrations to determine sorption coefficients of five chlorobenzenes and two chloroanilines in spiked sediment and of two unknown chemicals in field-contaminated sediment. A range of sediment suspensions with different sediment-water ratios was made. Freely dissolved concentrations in these suspensions were measured by negligible depletion solid-phase microextraction (nd-SPME). Sediment-water sorption coefficients NO were derived from the decrease of the freely dissolved concentrations as a function of the "dilution factor" (OF = volume water/mass sediment). The determined sorption coefficients were very similar to literature values. The experimental setup provides sorption coefficients without the need for total extractions, and the negligible depletion SPME technique does not require phase separation. The proposed method might be an alternative for batch equilibrium experiments to determine sorption coefficients.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Science & Technology
Issue number11
Pages (from-to)4220-4225
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes

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