Volatilisation of o-Xylene from Sandy Soil

Bo Lindhardt, Thomas Højlund Christensen, Adam Brun

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The diffusive release of o-xylene from two soils with different contents of organic carbon (1.1 % and 0.11 % TOC) and with two different water contents (app. 5 % w/w and 15 % w/w was studied in the laboratory. The soils were spiked with o-xylene in the laboratory. The fluxes were measured over a period of 24 hours. The measured fluxes were compared to predictions by two models. Model I, which is an analytical model, assumed instant local equilibrium between soil air, water and solids. The distribution coefficients were measured for the two soils, and Henry's constant and the diffusion coefficient in air were taken from the literature. This model overestimated the flux for o-xylene for all the tested combinations. The ratios between estimated and observed fluxes at 1 h were between 1.7 and 7.3. Model II assumed that the mass transfer of o-xylene between the solids and the water phase was kinetically controlled and was solved numerically. However, the predictions by the more advanced model were not significantly better than the prediction by the simple analytical model. The results indicate that prediction of o-xylene volatilisation from unsaturated soil is associated with substantial uncertainty.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)2625-2637
Publication statusPublished - 1994


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