Studies were conducted to evaluate lipophilicity as a predictor sorption for a mixture of organic compounds with high vapor pressures commonly present at hazardous waste sites. Sorption partition coefficients (Kp) for the mixture of 16 volatile and semivolatile organic compounds were measured on a Captina silt loam (Typic Fragiudult) and a McLaurin sandy loam (Typic Paleudults) using a zero headspace extractor. The experimental Kp was determined for acrylonitrile, furan, methyl ethyl ketone, tetrahydrofuran, benzene, toluene, p-xylene, chlorobenzene, chloroform, nitrobenzene, 1,2-dichlorobenzene, 1,2,3-trichloropropane, carbon tetrachloride, ethylene dibromide, 1,2,4,5-tetrachlorobenzene, and hexachlorobenzene on each of the two soils. The Kp values were generally lower in the McLaurin sandy loam, which had a lower organic C content (0.66 ± 0.04%) than the Captina silt loam (organic C content = 1.49 ± 0.06%). Sorption was normalized to soil organic C content of the soil by converting Kp for each compound and soil to Koc. Weighted regression analyses of Koc observed for the compounds in the mixture on Koc predicted from the n-octanol/water partition coefficient (Kow) for individual compounds yielded a pooled, weighted regression of Koc observed = 1.084 + 0.457 Koc predicted, n = 29, r = 0.88. Statistical analysis indicated that the slope of 0.457 ± 0.046 (estimated standard error) was significantly less than 1.00, indicating that soil sorption of nonionic organic compounds differed from that predicted for the same individual compounds based on Kow. The results indicate that predictive equations for sorption of individual organic compounds can be applied to mixtures of volatile and semivolatile organic compounds in soils when log Kow are in a range from approximately 1 to 3; however, outside this range a correction factor may be needed.
Publication no. 3835, Environmental Sciences Division, ORNL.