Rate-limited sorption of hydrophobic organic compounds by soils with well-characterized organic matter

Joseph J. Piatt, Mark L Brusseau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

66 Scopus citations


This study is focused on the rate-limited sorption of homologous series of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, alkylated benzenes, chlorinated benzenes, and chlorinated alkenes by two soils, one in which the organic matter is dominated by humic acid and the other by fulvic acid. The solutes sorbed more strongly to the humic-dominated soil than the fulvic-dominated soil. The first-order molecular connectivity index (1X(v)), a molecular solute descriptor, provided slightly better correlations with equilibrium sorption coefficients than did the octanol - water partition coefficient (K(ow)), an empirical solute descriptor. Thus, sorbate shape/structure may have a secondary influence on the overall magnitude of equilibrium sorption. However, sorbate shape/structure exhibited a significant influence on sorption kinetics. Distinct differences were observed in the correlations of mass-transfer coefficients to 1X(v) for the two soils. The differences were attributed to both sorbate shape/structure and the quantity (path length) and morphology of soil organic matter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1604-1608
Number of pages5
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 1998


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Environmental Engineering

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