Environmental Chemistry Letters

, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp 41–44 | Cite as

Soxhlet extraction of organic compounds associated with soil water repellency

  • Christopher T. LlewellynEmail author
  • Stefan H. Doerr
  • Peter Douglas
  • Christopher P. Morley
  • Kathryn A. Mainwaring
Original Paper


The study of compounds associated with soil water repellency usually involves removing organic material from a sample by some extraction procedure. An evaluation of the kinetics and efficiency of Soxhlet extraction using an isopropanol-aqueous ammonia mixture is given here. Increasing extraction time caused an increase in the mass of material extracted and a decrease in soil water repellency. The same compound types were detected by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry in all extracts, but their proportions varied with extraction time. In particular, the removal of alkanes from the soil sample was less rapid than that of more polar compounds.


Water repellency Soils Soxhlet extraction Gas chromatography Polarity 



The authors would like to thank Ian Matthews for his assistance with GC-FID analysis and Bridget Stein and Gareth Llewellyn of the EPSRC National Mass Spectrometry Service Centre for their assistance with GC-MS analysis. The financial assistance of Aquatrols Corporation of America and the University of Wales Swansea in providing a postgraduate studentship (KAM) and a postgraduate bursary (CTL) is acknowledged. The study was supported by EU grant FAIR-CT98–4027. This work does not necessarily reflect the European Commision’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

  • Christopher T. Llewellyn
    • 1
    Email author
  • Stefan H. Doerr
    • 2
  • Peter Douglas
    • 1
  • Christopher P. Morley
    • 1
  • Kathryn A. Mainwaring
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryUniversity of Wales SwanseaSwanseaU.K.
  2. 2.Department of GeographyUniversity of Wales SwanseaSwanseaU.K.

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