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A Practical Measurement Strategy to Estimate Nonlinear Chlorinated Solvent Sorption in Low foc Sediments



In this study, we tested a practical strategy useful for accurate chlorinated volatile organic compound (cVOC) sorption prediction. Corresponding to the feature of the superposition of adsorption due to thermally altered carbonaceous matter (TACM) with organic carbon-water partitioning, a nonlinear Freundlich sorption isotherm covering a wide range of aqueous concentrations was defined by equilibrium sorption measurement at one or a few low concentration points with extrapolation to the empirical organic carbon-water partition coefficient (Koc,e) near compound solubility. We applied this approach to obtain perchloroethene equilibrium sorption isotherm parameters for TACM-containing glacial sand and gravel subsoil samples from a field site in New York. Sorption and associated Koc,c applicable to low (5–500 µg/L) and high (>100,000 µg/L) aqueous concentrations were determined in batch experiments. (The Koc,c is the organic carbon-normalized sorption partition coefficient corresponding to aqueous concentration Cw.) The Koc,c measurements at low concentration (~5 µg/L) were 6 to 34 times greater than the Koc,e. The importance of this type of data is illustrated through presentation of its substantial impact on the site remedy. In so doing, we provide an approach that is broadly applicable to cVOC field sites with similar circumstances (low carbon content glacial sand and gravel with TACM).