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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 19 No. 3, p. 603-608
    Received: Aug 7, 1989

    * Corresponding author(s):
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Sorption and Degradation of Pentachlorophenol in Sludge-Amended Soils

  1. Cheryl A. Bellin,
  2. George A. O'Connor * and
  3. Yan Jin
  1. Dep. of Agronomy and Horticulture, New Mexico State Univ., Las Cruces, NM 88003.



Sorption and degradation of pentachlorophenol (PCP) by two alkaline and one acid soil was studied in the presence and absence of sewage sludge. The PCP concentrations used (0.1–10 mg kg−1) included PCP rates expected with land application of normal municipal sewage sludges. Sorption/desorption isotherms, derived using batch equilibrium techniques, were described by the Freundlich equation. The PCP sorption increased with increasing sludge additions. Desorption in the alkaline soils was completely reversible and no irreversible residues were formed. Leaching of PCP would be most likely in the unamended alkaline soils. Degradation of PCP at low (0.75 mg kg−1) initial concentration was rapid (t1/2 ≈10–15 d) in alkaline soils, but much slower (t1/2 ≈38 d) in the acid soils. Sludge additions to the soils did not substantially affect PCP degradation. More rapid degradation of PCP in the alkaline vs. acid soils was attributed to less sorption and more favorable conditions for microbial activity. Rapid degradation in the alkaline soil, and greater sorption in the acid soil, reduces the chance of PCP leaching. However, longer PCP residence times in the acid soil increase the possibility for plant uptake.

Journal Article no. 1490. Agric. Exp. Stn., New Mexico State Univ. Although financial support for this study was provided in part by Cooperative Agreement CR-812687-02 with the USEPA, this report has not had USEPA's required peer and policy review and does not necessarily reflect the views of the agency.

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