About Us | Help Videos | Contact Us | Subscriptions

Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Organic Compounds in the Environment

Measuring Sorption of Hydrophilic Organic Compounds in Soils by an Unsaturated Transient Flow Method


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 34 No. 3, p. 1045-1054
    Received: Dec 3, 2003

    * Corresponding author(s): Rai.Kookana@csiro.au
Request Permissions

  1. Riaz Ahmadab,
  2. Hidetaka Katouc and
  3. Rai S. Kookana *d
  1. a Department of Soil and Water, University of Adelaide, PMB1, Glen Osmond, SA 5064, Australia
    b Current address: Faculty of Horticulture, Chiba University, 648 Matsudo, Matsudo, Chiba, 271-8510 Japan
    c National Institute for Agro-Environmental Sciences, Kannondai 3-1-3, Tsukuba, 305-8604 Japan
    d CSIRO Land and Water, PMB2, Glen Osmond, SA 5064 Australia


Determination of sorption of hydrophilic, weakly sorbing organic compounds in soil by conventional batch methods using a slurried suspension is often prone to considerable errors because small changes in the solution concentration on equilibration must be accurately determined. This difficulty is exacerbated for compounds susceptible to degradation, which also decreases the solution concentration. The objective of this study was to determine sorption of hydrophilic pesticides by applying an unsaturated transient flow method, which enables determination of sorption at sufficiently small solution to soil ratios. The method makes use of piston-like displacement of the antecedent solution in equilibrium with sorbed phase when pesticide-free water is infiltrated into a soil column spiked with a pesticide. Pesticide sorption and the solution concentration are inferred from a plot of total pesticide content per unit mass of soil vs. water content in a region where the antecedent solution is accumulated. Thus, extraction of solution from relative dry soil is unnecessary. We tested this method for two hydrophilic pesticides, monocrotophos [dimethyl (E)-1-methyl-2-(methyl-carbamoyl) vinyl phosphate] and dichlorvos (2,2-dichlorovinyl dimethyl phosphate). The sorption coefficient, K d, obtained for monocrotophos was slightly lower than that by batch method (K d = 0.10 vs. 0.19 L kg−1), whereas for dichlorvos, a compound highly susceptible to degradation, the unsaturated flow method yielded a much smaller K d (0.19 vs. 3.22 L kg−1). The K d values for both compounds were consistent with the observed retardation in the pesticide displacement in the columns. The proposed method is more representative of field conditions and particularly suitable for weakly sorbing organic compounds in soils.

  Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.

Copyright © 2005. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyASA, CSSA, SSSA