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Predicting Sediment Sorption Coefficients for Linear Alkylbenzenesulfonate Congeners from Polyacrylate−Water Partition Coefficients at Different Salinities

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journal contribution
posted on 2010-02-01, 00:00 authored by Ángeles Rico-Rico, Steven T. J. Droge, Joop L. M. Hermens
The effect of the molecular structure and the salinity on the sorption of the anionic surfactant linear alkylbenzenesulfonate (LAS) to marine sediment has been studied. The analysis of several individual LAS congeners in seawater and of one specific LAS congener at different dilutions of seawater was carried out after extraction by polyacrylate solid-phase microextraction (SPME) fibers. Sorption isotherms for the tested LAS congeners on marine sediment and at different ionic composition were all nonlinear with a constant Freundlich exponent (nF) of 0.78 ± 0.05. Differences in LAS sorption of a number of congeners were similar to the differences among the linear partition coefficients (Kfw) observed for the polyacrylate SPME fibers in seawater. The sorption of LAS to both the sediment and the SPME fiber significantly decreased in media with lower salinity. Dissolved calcium could fully account for the changed affinity of LAS for the SPME fiber, although the high sorption in seawater was also equaled by a corresponding dissolved concentration of NaCl only. Sediment sorption coefficients of a single LAS congener at varying ionic composition was not as strongly related to the Kfw values as the relation observed for different LAS compounds in seawater, likely because sorption mechanisms are different in both phases. In the absence of experimental data for octanol−water coefficients (Kow) of (i) individual LAS congeners at (ii) different ionic compositions, the use of Kfw as a tool to predict sorption and other hydrophobicity-related processes is suggested.