Role of heavy polar organic compounds for water repellency of sandy soils
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Separation and chemical characterisation of specific compounds responsible for soil water repellency has not previously been achieved. Here we describe the extraction, separation and analysis by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry of organic compounds found in wettable and water repellent sandy soils from the Netherlands and United Kingdom. Fatty acids (C16–C24), amides (C14–C24), alkanes (C25–C33), aldehydes/ketones (C23–C31) and complex ring-containing structures were detected in all samples. We found a greater abundance of high molecular mass polar compounds in the water repellent samples.
KeywordsHydrophobicity Water repellency Soils Organics Gas chromatography
The financial assistance of EPSRC, Aquatrols Corporation of America, HEFCW and the University of Wales Swansea for providing a studentship (KAM) and a postgraduate bursary (CTL) is acknowledged. This study was supported by EU grant FAIR-CT98–4027. This work does not necessarily reflect the European Commission’s views and in no way anticipates its future policy in this area.
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