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Effect of organic carbon, active carbon, calcium ions and aging on the sorption of per- and polyfluoroalkylated substances (PFASs) to soil
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences.
2013 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Per- and polyfluoroalkylated substances (PFASs) are a large group of organic chemicals that have gained an increased attention during recent years. Many of the compounds have shown to be persistent, toxic and bioaccumulating and they are found in water, soils, sediments, biota, animals and humans across the globe. The effects of PFASs to humans and animals are still being debated. It is suspected that the compounds can be carcinogenic, disrupt different hormone systems and have other severe effects.

The main transport pathways of PFASs to soil are applied PFAS based firefighting foam, soil improvers and waste from industries producing PFASs or PFAS based products. Once the PFASs find their way to the soil the risk for leaching to drinking water supplies and aquatic ecosystems becomes some of the issues of great concern. In order to be able to evaluate the potential leakage of PFASs from different contaminated soils it is important to know how the PFASs interact with the soil matrix and what parameters that affects these interactions.

The objective of this study was to investigate the influence of organic carbon (OC), Ca2+ ions and active carbon (AC) on the n of PFCAs and PFSAs to soil. The PFCAs examined were PFHxA, PFOA, PFNA, PFDA, PFUnDA, PFOcDA, PFHxDA and PFOcDA and the PFSAs examined were PFBS, PFHxS, PFOS and PFDS. Batch experiments were performed on soils with varying concentrations of TOC, Ca2+ and AC. The samples were spiked with PFAS native standard solution containing the 12 target PFASs. All studied parameters showed a positive influence on the sorption of PFASs to soil. The AC was found to have the highest influence on the sorption. The OC was however found to be the most important soil parameter influencing the sorption of PFASs to soil. In order to investigate the influence of aging on the sorption of PFASs, batch experiments were also conducted on soils from four different PFAS contaminated sites. The results showed that the aging positively influenced the strength of the interactions between PFASs and soil.

The organic carbon normalized distribution coefficients (Koc) showed a positive correlation with the carbon chain length of the PFAS molecules and also with the substitution of a carboxylic group with a sulfonic group. The log Koc values calculated in this study decreased in the following order PFDS (log Koc3.8 0.3) > PFOS > (log Koc2.8 0.3) > PFUnDA (log Koc 3.2 0.2) > PFDA (log Koc2.7 0.1) > PFNA (log Koc2.0 0.1) > PFHxS (log Koc1.9 0.1) > PFOA (log Koc1.8 0.3) > PFHxA (log Koc1.6 0.3) > PFBS (log Koc 1.5 0.2). The log Koc values found in this study were within the range of previously reported log Kocvalues.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 75 p.
UPTEC W, ISSN 1401-5765 ; 13028
Keyword [en]
PFAS, sorption, soil, calcium, active carbon, organic carbon, aging.
National Category
Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-210909OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-210909DiVA: diva2:668557
External cooperation
Sweco Environment AB
Educational program
Master Programme in Environmental and Water Engineering
Available from: 2013-12-04 Created: 2013-11-16 Last updated: 2013-12-04Bibliographically approved

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