Environmental Chemistry Letters

, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp 35–39 | Cite as

Role of heavy polar organic compounds for water repellency of sandy soils

  • Kathryn A. Mainwaring
  • Christopher P. Morley
  • Stefan H. Doerr
  • Peter Douglas
  • Christopher T. Llewellyn
  • Gareth Llewellyn
  • Ian Matthews
  • Bridget K. Stein
Original Paper

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Hydrophobicity Water repellency Soils Organics Gas chromatography 

Notes

Acknowledgements

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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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kathryn A. Mainwaring
    • 1
  • Christopher P. Morley
    • 1
  • Stefan H. Doerr
    • 2
  • Peter Douglas
    • 1
  • Christopher T. Llewellyn
    • 1
  • Gareth Llewellyn
    • 3
  • Ian Matthews
    • 1
  • Bridget K. Stein
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryUniversity of Wales SwanseaSwanseaUnited Kingdom
  2. 2.Department of GeographyUniversity of Wales SwanseaSwanseaUnited Kingdom
  3. 3.EPSRC National Mass Spectrometry Service CentreUniversity of Wales SwanseaSwanseaUnited Kingdom

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