Resolution of Adsorption and Partition Components of Organic Compounds on Black Carbons

Cary T. Chiou, Jianzhong Cheng, Wei Nung Hung, Baoliang Chen, Tsair Fuh Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


Black carbons (BCs) may sequester non-ionic organic compounds by adsorption and/or partition to varying extents. Up to now, no experimental method has been developed to accurately resolve the combined adsorption and partition capacity of a compound on a BC. In this study, a unique "adsorptive displacement method" is introduced to reliably resolve the adsorption and partition components for a solute-BC system. It estimates the solute adsorption on a BC by the use of an adsorptive displacer to displace the adsorbed target solute into the solution phase. The method is validated by tests with uses of activated carbon as the model carbonaceous adsorbent, soil organic matter as the model carbonaceous partition phase, o-xylene and 1,2,3-trichlorobenzene as the reference solutes, and p-nitrophenol as the adsorptive displacer. Thereafter, the adsorption-partition resolution was completed for the two solutes on selected model BCs: four biochars and two National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) standard soots (SRM-2975 and SRM-1650b). The adsorption and partition components resolved for selected solutes with given BCs and their dependences upon solute properties enable one to cross-check the sorption data of other solutes on the same BCs. The resolved components also provide a theoretical basis for exploring the potential modes and extents of different solute uptakes by given BCs in natural systems. (Figure Presented)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9116-9123
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Aug 4

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry


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