Influence of a nonionic surfactant (Triton X-100) on contaminant distribution between water and several soil solids

Jiunn Fwu Lee, Pao Mei Liao, Chun Chih Kuo, Hsiu Ting Yang, Cary T. Chiou

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79 Citations (Scopus)


The influence of a nonionic surfactant (Triton X-100) on the contaminant distribution coefficients in solid-water mixtures was determined for a number of relatively nonpolar compounds (contaminants) on several natural solids. The studied compounds consisted of BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and p-xylene) and chlorinated pesticides (lindane, α-BHC, and heptachlor epoxide), which span several orders of magnitude in water solubility (S(W)); the solid samples comprised a bentonite, a peat, and two other soils, which cover a wide range of solid organic matter (SOM) content. The applied surfactant concentrations (X) ranged from below the (nominal) CMC to 2-3 times the CMC. For relatively water-soluble BTEX compounds, the distribution coefficients with surfactant (K*(d)) all exceeded those without surfactant (K(d)); the K*(d)/K(d) ratios increased with increasing S(w) from p-xylene to benzene on each solid at a given X, with increasing X for each compound on a solid, and with decreasing solid SOM content for each compound over the range of X studied. For the less-soluble pesticides, the K*(d)/K(d) ratios exhibited a large increase with X for bentonite, a marginal change (increase or decrease) for a soil of 2.4% SOM, and a moderate-to-large decrease for two soils of 14.8% and 86.4% SOM. These unique observations were rationalized in terms of the properties of the compound, the amount of surfactant sorbed on the solid, the enhanced solubilization of the compound by surfactant in water, and the relative effects of the surfactant when adsorbed on minerals and when partitioned into SOM. (C) 2000 Academic Press.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)445-452
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Colloid And Interface Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2000 Sept 15

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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