Nonequilibrium Sorption of Organic Chemicals: Elucidation of Rate-Limiting Processes

Mark L. Brusseau, Ron E. Jessup, P. Suresh, C. Rao

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439 Scopus citations


The results of experiments designed to identify the process(es) responsible for nonequilibrium sorption of hydrophobic organic chemicals (HOCs) by natural sorbents are reported. The results of experiments performed with natural sorbents were compared to rate data obtained from systems wherein rate-limited sorption was caused by specific sorbate-sorbent interactions. This comparison showed that chemical nonequilibrium associated with specific sorbate-sorbent interactions does not significantly contribute to the rate-limited sorption of HOCs by natural sorbents. Transport-related nonequilibrium was also shown to not be a factor for the systems investigated. Hence, attempts were made to interpret the data in terms of two, sorption-related, diffusive mass-transfer conceptual models: retarded intraparticle diffusion and intraorganic matter diffusion. The analyses provide strong evidence that intraorganic matter diffusion was responsible for the nonequilibrium sorption exhibited by the systems inves¬tigated in this paper.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)134-142
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry


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