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Importance of Adsorption (Hole-Filling) Mechanism for Hydrophobic Organic Contaminants on an Aquifer Kerogen Isolate

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journal contribution
posted on 15.08.2004 by Yong Ran, Baoshan Xing, P. Suresh C. Rao, Jiamo Fu
Sorption and desorption behaviors of four hydrophobic organic compounds (HOCs) were investigated for an isolated kerogen material from Borden aquifer material with total organic carbon of 0.021%. The solubility-normalized modified Freundlich equation and the combined linear and Polanyi−Dubinin (PD) equation can quite well describe the sorption or desorption isotherms. The partition component is estimated and compared using desorption data, dual-mode modeling, and the reported partition coefficients. The result suggests that the dual-mode modeling and the combined linear and PD modeling may overestimate the partitioning component. The partition component is not so important as assumed before in sorption of HOCs for the studied sorbent. As the fitted PD equation has an exponent parameter b‘ approaching 1, it is equivalent to the modified Freundlich equation. The small molecules 1,2-dichlorobenzene (DCB) and naphthalene (Naph) have higher adsorption volumes. The lower adsorption volumes for 1,3,5-trichlorobenzene (TCB) and phenanthrene (Phen) suggest that accessibility to the holes of kerogen by large HOC molecules is reduced. The desorption hysteresis is approximately constant for DCB when the relative aqueous concentration ranges from 0.0007 to 0.6, but for Phen is only obvious at higher relative aqueous concentrations. The varied sorption and desorption behaviors for DCB and Phen are satisfactorily explained by an adsorption/hole filling mechanism and entrapment of some adsorbates in the kerogen matrix and by possible pore deformation mechanism at high concentrations.

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