Irreversible binding of chlorophenols to soil and its impact on bioavailability

Alok Bhandari, John T. Novak, William D. Burgos, Duane F. Berry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Experiments were conducted to quantify binding of phenol, 4-chlorophenol (4-CP), 2,4,6-trichlorophenol (TCP), and pentachlorophenol (PCP) to a sandy surface soil under aerobic and anoxic conditions, with and without autoclaving. Water and methylene chloride were used to extract the physisorbed contaminants. The chemically bound contaminant was characterized as biologically or abiotically coupled. A portion of the residual contamination on soil was attributed to the presence of a desorbable but mass transfer-rate limited component of the sorbate. Autoclaving the soil or eliminating O2 from the system had no observable effect on the total sorption of chlorophenols. However, the amount of bound material that was resistant to extraction was at least twice as high in nonautoclaved soils under oxic conditions as compared to soil in systems from which O2 or biochemical activity, or both had been eliminated. The initial aqueous concentration of the contaminant appeared to govern the amount of nonextractable material. A biodegradation study found that approximately 50% of the coupled contaminant was bioavailable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number12859
Pages (from-to)506-513
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Environmental Engineering
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Environmental Science
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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