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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Organic Compounds in the Environment

Distribution Behavior of Pyrene to Adsorbed Humic Acids on Kaolin


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 32 No. 2, p. 591-598
    Received: Jan 10, 2002

    * Corresponding author(s): shunitz@ees.hokudai.ac.jp
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  1. Motoki Terashimaa,
  2. Shunitz Tanaka *a and
  3. Masami Fukushimab
  1. a Division of Material Science, Graduate School of Environmental Earth Science, Hokkaido Univ., Sapporo 060-0810, Japan
    b National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), 16-1 Onogawa, Tsukuba 305-8569, Japan


The distribution behavior of pyrene on humic acid (HA)–kaolin complexes, prepared by adsorbing HA on kaolin, was investigated by batch experiments. The distribution coefficient (K d) of pyrene on the HA–kaolin complex increased with the fraction (f oc) of organic carbon adsorbed to the surface of the kaolin. This can be attributed to hydrophobic interactions between pyrene and the adsorbed HAs. The effects of adsorbed HAs were quantitatively evaluated by calculating the distribution coefficient (K oc) and affinity constant (K ads oc) for pyrene to the adsorbed HAs. A fluorescence quenching method was employed to determine the affinity constant (K aq oc) of pyrene to HAs dissolved in an aqueous solution. When the K oc values were compared with the K aq oc values, the K oc values were found to be 4 to 11 times larger than the K aq oc values. On the other hand, the K ads oc values were 4 to 9 times larger than the K aq oc values. These indicate that the affinity for pyrene is enhanced by the adsorption of HAs to kaolin. In addition, the K oc values increased with increasing average molecular weights of the HAs. These results demonstrate that HAs, when they are adsorbed to clay minerals, play an important role in the deposition of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in a soil environment.

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Copyright © 2003. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyPublished in J. Environ. Qual.32:591–598.