Extraneous dissolved organic matter enhanced adsorption of dibutyl phthalate in soils: Insights from kinetics and isotherms

Sci Total Environ. 2018 Aug 1:631-632:1495-1503. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.02.251. Epub 2018 Mar 28.


The widespread use of plastic film, especially in agricultural practices, has resulted in phthalic acid esters (PAEs) pollution, which poses risks for greenhouse soils. Application of composted manure is a common agricultural practice that adds extraneous dissolved organic matter (DOM) to the soil, however, the effect of extraneous DOM on the behavior of PAEs in agricultural soil is not clear. Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) was used as a model compound to investigate the effect and mechanism of extraneous DOM on the adsorption kinetics and isotherms of PAEs in two types of soils, through batch experiments and characterization of extraneous DOM and soils using fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). The equilibrium adsorption amount of DBP in black soil was higher than in red soil regardless of the presence of extraneous DOM, due to the higher organic matter content of black soil. Hydrophobic partition played a dominant role in the DBP adsorption process of soils with and without extraneous DOM. The addition of DOM enhanced the adsorption capacity of DBP through partition in the two soils, especially at high DBP concentrations. Additions of a lower concentration of DOM better enhanced the adsorption effect than the higher concentrated DOM, due to an increase in water solubility of DBP resulted from excessive extraneous DOM in aqueous phase. Differences in mineral composition of soils led to diverse adsorption mechanisms of DBP as affected by additions of extraneous DOM. The FTIR spectra indicated that the intra-molecular and intermolecular hydrogen bond interactions of carboxylic acids, aromatic CC and CO in amides were involved in DBP adsorption in soils. Therefore, addition of DOM may increase adsorption of DBP in soils and thus influence its bioavailability and transformation in soils.

Keywords: Organic matter; Partition effect; Phthalic acid esters; Surface adsorption.