Effect of Surfactants on Sorption and Desorption of Phenanthrene onto Black Carbon

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Sorption and desorption of phenanthrene onto black carbon extracted from sediment were studied in the presence of a cationic surfactant (cetyltrimethylammonium bromide [CTAB]), an anionic surfactant (sodium dodecylbenzene sulfonate [SDBS]), and a nonionic surfactant (Triton X-100 [TX100]), to examine the role of surfactants in sorption and desorption. Nonlinearity of the sorption isotherms increased in the presence of surfactants. The CTAB enhanced the sorption capacity and irreversibility of phenanthrene on black carbon. However, the presence of SDBS reduced the sorption capacity and desorption hysteresis. Unlike CTAB and SDBS, the influence of TX100 on sorption was concentration-dependent. Low levels of TX100 increased sorption, as a result of the sorption of TX100 on the black carbon surface. High levels of TX100 led to a decrease in sorption because of the solubilization of phenanthrene in TX100 solution. Our results may help to understand the different effects of surfactants on the distribution and transport of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the environment.

Keywords: black carbon; desorption; phenanthrene; sorption; surfactant

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2175/106143010X12681059116536

Affiliations: State Key Laboratory of Water Environment Simulation, School of Environment, Beijing, China

Publication date: January 1, 2011

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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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