Characterization and partitioning behavior of creosote in different matrices: soils, water, and air


Creosote is a multicomponent oil classified as a dense non-aqueous phase liquid (DNAPL) produced from coal tar distillation. The concept of phase distribution is critical in decision-making to remediate contaminated sites. The creosote mass transfer between sorbed, aqueous, vapor, and DNAPL phases is controlled by physicochemical characteristics, geology of the site, and environment conditions. This study evaluated phase distribution of the main polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) of creosote in a sandy soil with low organic matter content. The creosote was collected from a contaminated site in São Paulo, Brazil, and was characterized by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Clean soil was collected upgradient from the same area. Initially, the soil was artificially contaminated with creosote. After, the contaminated soil was put in contact with clean water in sealed vials for 72 h. Samples of the soil, vapor, and liquid phases were collected and analyzed by GC-MS. In total, 50 compounds were identified in the creosote, and 9 PAHs were selected to be studied, which represented around 30% of total creosote mass. The major contaminant concentration was detected in the sorbed phase. For instance, naphthalene mass was distributed in sorbed (33.0%), DNAPL (1.5%), aqueous (3.4%), and vapor (0.2%) phases. The results provided an understanding of the contaminant species partitioning that occurs in a real contaminated site.

ARANHA, Rayanne Macêdo; MAGALHÃES, Vivian M.A.; MENDES, Gabriela P.; SOARES, Lélia C.R.; BARBOSA, Alexandre Muselli; NASCIMENTO, Claudio A.O.; VIANNA, Marilda M.G.R.; CHIAVONE FILHO, Osvaldo. Characterization and partitioning behavior of creosote in different matrices: soils, water, and air. Water, Air and Soil Pollution, v.231, n.402, p.1-11, Jul., 2020.

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