Determination and partitioning behavior of perfluoroalkyl carboxylic acids and perfluorooctanesulfonate in water and sediment from Dianchi Lake, China

Chemosphere. 2012 Sep;88(11):1292-9. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2012.03.103. Epub 2012 May 11.


Perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) have received much attention on their distribution in various matrices including water bodies, precipitations, sediment and biota in different areas globally, however, little attention has been paid to their occurrence and distribution in urban lakes. In this study, water and sediment samples collected from 26 sites in Dianchi Lake, a plateau urban lake in the southwestern part of China were analyzed via high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS) for ten analytes involving nine perfluoroalkyl carboxylic acids (PFOAs) and perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS). Total levels of PFCs were 30.98 ± 32.19 ng L(-1) in water and 0.95 ± 0.63 ng g(-1) in sediment. In water samples PFOA was the dominant PFC contaminant, with concentrations ranging from 3.41 to 35.44 ng L(-1), while in sediments PFOS was the main PFC contaminant at levels from 0.07-0.83 ng g(-1) dry weight. Field-based sediment water distribution coefficients (K(D)) were calculated and corrected for organic carbon content (K(oc)), which reduced variability among samples. The log K(oc) ranged from 2.54 to 3.57 for C8-C12 perfluorinated carboxylic acids, increasing by 0.1-0.4 log units with each additional CF2 moiety. The log K(oc) of PFOS was 3.35 ± 0.32. Magnitudes and trends in log K(D) or log K(oc) appeared to agree well with previously published laboratory data. Results showed that different PFC composition profiles were observed for samples from the lake water and sediments, indicating the presence of dissimilar characteristics of the PFCs compounds, which is important for PFC fate modeling and risk assessment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alkanesulfonic Acids / analysis*
  • Carboxylic Acids / analysis*
  • China
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Fluorocarbons / analysis*
  • Geologic Sediments / analysis*
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry
  • Water / analysis*
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / analysis*


  • Alkanesulfonic Acids
  • Carboxylic Acids
  • Fluorocarbons
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • Water
  • perfluorooctane sulfonic acid