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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 41 No. 6, p. 1916-1922
    Received: Feb 19, 2012
    Published: October 18, 2012

    * Corresponding author(s): mpalomo@csupomona.edu


Stabilization of Enzymatically Polymerized Phenolic Chemicals in a Model Soil Organic Matter-Free Geomaterial

  1. Mónica Palomo *a and
  2. Alok Bhandari
  1. a Dep. of Civil Engineering, California State Polytechnic Univ., 3801 W. Temple Ave., Pomona, CA 91768


A variety of remediation methods, including contaminant transformation by peroxidase-mediated oxidative polymerization, have been proposed to manage soils and groundwater contaminated with chlorinated phenols. Phenol stabilization has been successfully observed during cross polymerization between phenolic polymers and soil organic matter (SOM) for soils with SOM >3%. This study evaluates peroxidase-mediated transformation and removal of 2,4-dichlorophenol (DCP) from an aqueous phase in contact with a natural geomaterial modified to contain negligible (<0.3%) SOM. The results are compared with those for soils with higher SOM. The SOM-free sorbent was generated by removing SOM using a NaOCl oxidation. When horseradish peroxidase (HRP) was used to induce polymerization of DCP, the soil–water phase distribution relationship (PDR) of DCP polymerization products (DPP) was complete within 1 d and PDRs did not significantly change over the 28 d of study. The conversion of DCP to DPP was close to 95% efficient. Extractable solute consisted entirely of DPP with 5% or less of unreacted DCP. The aqueous extractability of DPP from SOM-free geomaterial decreased at longer contact times and at smaller residual aqueous concentrations of DPP. DCP stabilization appeared to have resulted from a combination of sorption, precipitation, and ligand exchange between oligomeric products and the exposed mineral surfaces. Modification of the mineral surface through coverage with DPP enhanced the time-dependent retention of the oligomers. DPP stabilization in SOM-free geomaterial was comparable with that reported in the literature with soil containing SOM contents >1%. Results from this study suggest that the effectiveness of HRP-mediated stabilization of phenolic compounds not only depends on the cross-coupling with SOM, but also on the modification of the surface of the sorbent that can augment affinity with oligomers and enhance stabilization. Coverage of the mineral surface by phenolic oligomers may be analogous to SOM that can potentially sorb other xenobiotics. HRP- mediated reactions can be used to stabilize DCP associated with low SOM mineral soils or aquifer media, thereby restricting the transport of phenolic contaminants in the soil environment.

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Copyright © 2012. Copyright © by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America, Inc.