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Generalized Model of Pentachlorophenol Distribution in Amended Soil–Water Systems

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This paper describes laboratory experiments and subsequent statistical data analysis performed to reevaluate the overall effect of soil characteristics and liquid-phase composition on the extent of pentachlorophenol (PCP) adsorption in complex soil–water systems. The PCP adsorption isotherms were first generated for eight soils of varying physical and chemical properties. Binding tests were then performed in the presence of different additives (surfactant, oil, etc.) and conditions (temperature and pH) based on a fractional factorial design. Statistical analysis of data showed strong interdependencies among several of the soil parameters, but confirmed that organic carbon content(foc ) and pH of the soils were the best predictors of the adsorption constant of PCP (Kd ) for nonamended soil–water systems. It was determined that the effect on Kd of a 0.2 unit decrease in soil pH was approximately the same as increasing foc by 1%. From studying the effect of the amendments, two interactions (surfactant–pH and surfactant–oil) and two primary effects (surfactant and oil) have been detected. The effectiveness of the surfactant in decreasing Kd varied depending on the pH and oil content of the soil. A generalized nonlinear model expressing Kd as a function of pH, foc , oil content of soil, and surfactant dose was developed for the range of conditions studied. The proposed model and modeling approach can be adapted to other types of contaminants or variables for specific natural and engineered systems.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2001

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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