Cosolvent effects on sorption and mobility of organic contaminants in soils

A. Lynn Wood, Dermont C. Bouchard, Mark L. Brusseau, P. Suresh C. Rao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


Batch equilibrium and column miscible displacement techniques were used to investigate the influence of an organic cosolvent (methanol) on the sorption and transport of three hydrophobic organic chemicals (HOCs) - naphthalene, phenanthrene, and diuron herbicide - in a sandy surface soil (Eustis fine sand). Equilibrium sorption constant (K) values calculated from batch and column data exhibited an inverse log-linear dependence on the volume fraction (fc) of methanol in the mixed solvent. The slope of the log-linear plot was approximately equal to the logarithm of the ratio of the HOC solubilities in neat cosolvent and water. K values obtained from breakthrough curves (BTCs) were comparable to those estimated from equilibrium sorption isotherms. Long-term exposure to methanol-water mixtures had little effect on sorption and transport properties of the soil, but column retardation factors were influenced by the short-term solvent exposure history prior to solute elution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)575-587
Number of pages13
Issue number4-5
StatePublished - 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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