Enhanced Transport of Low-Polarity Organic Compounds through Soil by Cyclodextrin

Mark L. Brusseau, Xiaojiang Wang, Qinhong Hu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

132 Scopus citations


The removal of low-polarity organic compounds from soils and aquifers by water flushing is often constrained by sorption interactions. There is great interest in developing systems that can enhance the transport of organic compounds through porous media, thus facilitating remediation. We investigated the potential of hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin (HPCD), a microbially produced compound, to reduce the sorption and to enhance the transport of several low-polarity organic compounds. The results show that cyclodextrin does not interact with the two porous media used in the study. As a result,there is no retardation of cyclodextrin during transport. The retardation of compounds such as anthracene, pyrene, and trichlorobiphenyl was significantly (orders of magnitude) reduced in the presence of cyclodextrin. The enhancement effect of the cyclodextrin was predictable with a simple equation based on three-phase partitioning. The nonreactive nature of cyclodextrin combined with its large affinity for lowpolarity organic compounds makes cyclodextrin a possible candidate for use in in-situ remediation efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)952-956
Number of pages5
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry


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