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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Organic Compounds in the Environment

Degradation and Mobility of Linear Alkylbenzene Sulfonate and Nonylphenol in Sludge-Amended Soil


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 33 No. 1, p. 232-240
    Received: July 28, 2002

    * Corresponding author(s): amja@dfh.dk
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  1. Anne Marie Jacobsen *ac,
  2. Gerda Krog Mortensena and
  3. Hans Christian Bruun Hansenb
  1. a Risø National Laboratory, Plant Research Department, Building PRD-301, Post Office Box 49, DK-4000 Roskilde, Denmark
    c The Danish University of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Department of Analytical Chemistry, Universitetsparken 2, DK-2100 Copenhagen, Denmark
    b The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Chemistry Department, Thorvaldsensvej 40, DK-1870 Frederiksberg, Denmark


Degradation and mobility of the surfactants linear alkylbenzene sulfonate (LAS) and nonylphenol (NP) were investigated in a lysimeter study using a sandy loam soil and 45-cm soil columns. Anaerobically digested sewage sludge was incorporated in the top-15-cm soil layer to an initial content of 38 mg LAS and 0.56 mg NP kg−1 dry wt., respectively. Spring barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) was sown onto the columns. The lysimeters were placed outdoors and therefore received natural precipitation, but were also irrigated to a total amount of water equivalent to 700 mm of precipitation. Leachate and soil samples from three soil layers were collected continuously during a growth period of 110 d. Leachate samples and soil extracts were concentrated by solid-phase extraction (SPE) and analyzed using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with fluorescence detection. The concentrations in the top-15-cm soil layer declined to 25 and 45% of the initial contents for LAS and NP, respectively, within the first 10 d of the study. At the end of the study, less than 1% LAS was left, while the NP content was below the detection limit. Assuming first-order degradation kinetics, half-lives of 20 and 37 d were estimated for LAS and NP, respectively. The surfactants were not measured in leachate samples in concentrations above the analytical detection limits of 4.0 and 0.5 μg L−1 for LAS and NP, respectively. In addition, neither LAS nor NP were measured in concentrations above the detection limits of 150 and 50 μg kg−1 dry wt., respectively, in soil layers below the 15 cm of sludge incorporation, indicating negligible downward transport of the surfactants in the lysimeters.

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