Phenanthrene adsorption on soils from the Yangtze River Delta region under different pH and temperature conditions

  • Lifeng PingEmail author
  • Yongming LuoEmail author
Original Paper


The phenanthrene (PHE) adsorption on soils from the Yangtze River Delta region under different pH and temperature conditions was studied in the laboratory. Results showed that the sorption of PHE on all soils was nonlinear and fitted to the Freundlich isotherm. The PHE adsorption on the soils is related to the content of organic carbons and the environmental conditions. There was a positive correlation (the correlation coefficient was 0.956) between the PHE adsorption and the soil organic carbon content. Adsorption on the soils at 15 °C ambient temperature was higher than at 25 °C, which was related to PHE solubility enthalpy. Adsorption on the soils in background solution at pH 5.0 was higher than in those at pH 6.2 and 7.5, which may be related to alteration of the hydrophobic character of humic substances. This study showed that intrinsic organic carbons influenced the adsorption of PHE, which was affected by environmental conditions, such as pH and temperature. Therefore, the characteristics of soil organic carbon should be considered first for implementing effective schemes for the remediation of contaminated soils and in the formulation of soil environmental quality standards.


Phenanthrene Adsorption Soil Organic carbon Environment condition 



This study was financially supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 21007061).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.


  1. Ahangar, A. G. (2010). Sorption of PAHs in the soil environment with emphasis on the role of soil organic matter: a review. World Applied Sciences Journal, 11(7), 759–765.Google Scholar
  2. Barnier, C., Ouvrard, S., Robin, C., & Morel, J. L. (2014). Desorption kinetics of PAHs from aged industrial soils for availability assessment. Science of the Total Environment, 470–471, 639–645.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bogan, B. W., & Trbovic, V. (2003). Effect of sequestration on PAH degradability with Fenton’s reagent: Roles of total organic carbon, humin, and soil porosity. Journal of Hazardous Materials, B100, 285–300.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Carmichael, L. M., Christman, R. F., & Pfaender, F. K. (1997). Desorption and mineralization kinetics of phenanthrene and chrysene in contaminated soil. Environmental Science and Technology, 31, 126–132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Chen, Y. N., Zhang, J. Q., Zhang, F., Li, F. X., & Zhou, M. (2018). Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in farmland soils around main reservoirs of Jilin Province, China: Occurrence, sources and potential human health risk. Environmental Geochemistry and Health, 40, 791–802.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chiou, C. T., McGroddy, R. L., & Kile, D. E. (1998). Partition characteristics of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons on soils and sediments. Environmental Science and Technology, 32, 264–269.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dexter, A. R., Richard, G., Arrouays, D., Czyz, E. A., Jolivet, C., & Duval, O. (2008). Complexed organic matter controls soil physical properties. Geoderma, 144, 620–627.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Francine, G., Suzimara, R., Marcelo, G., & Fernandes, A. N. (2016). Removal of pyrene from aqueous solutions by adsorption onto Brazilian peat samples. Adsorption Science & Technology, 34(9–10), 538–551.Google Scholar
  9. Gao, Y., Guo, X. Y., Ji, H. B., Li, C., Ding, H. J., Briki, M., et al. (2016). Potential threat of heavy metals and PAHs in PM2.5 in different urban functional areas of Beijing. Atmospheric Research, 178–179, 6–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hiller, E., Jurkovič, L., & Bartal, M. (2008). Effect of temperature on the distribution of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in soil and sediment. Soil and Water Research, 3(4), 231–240.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hiller, E., & Šebesta, M. (2017). Effect of temperature and soil pH on the sorption of ibuprofen in agricultural soil. Soil and Water Research, 12(2), 78–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Huang, W. L., Peng, P. A., Yu, Z. Q., & Fu, J. M. (2003). Effects of organic matter heterogeneity on sorption and desorption of organic contaminants by soils and sediments. Applied Geochemistry, 18, 955–972.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Käcker, T., Haupt, E. T. K., Garms, C., Francke, W., & Steinhart, H. (2002). Structural characterization of humic acid-bound PAH residues in soil by 13C-CPMAS-NMR-spectroscopy: Evidence of covalent bonds. Chemosphere, 48, 117–131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Karapanagioti, H. K., Kleineidam, S., Sabatini, D. A., Grathwohl, P., & Ligouis, B. (2000). Impacts of heterogeneous organic matter on phenanthrene sorption: equilibrium and kinetic studies with aquifer material. Environment Science and Technology, 34, 406–414.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kiliç, M. G., & Hoşten, C. (2010). A comparative study of electrocoagulation and coagulation of aqueous suspensions of kaolinite powders. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 176, 735–740.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kim, Y. J., & Osako, M. (2003). Leaching characteristics of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) from spiked sandy soil. Chemosphere, 51, 387–395.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Laor, Y., Farmer, W. J., Aochi, Y., & Strom, P. F. (1998). Phenanthrene binding and sorption to dissolved and to mineral-associated humic acid. Water Research, 32(6), 1923–1931.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Lee, C. L., Kuo, L. J., Wang, H. L., & Hsieh, P. C. (2003). Effects of ionic strength on the binding of phenanthrene and pyrene to humic substances: three-stage variation model. Water Research, 37, 4250–4258.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Li, J. L., & Chen, B. H. (2002). Solubilization of model polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons by nonionic surfactants. Chemical Engineering Science, 57, 2825–2835.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Lodge, K. B. (1989). Solubility studies using a generator column for 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin. Chemosphere, 18, 933–940.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Luthy, R. G., Aiken, G. R., Brussau, M. L., Cunningham, S. D., Gschwend, P. M., Pignatello, J. J., et al. (1997). Sequestration of hydrophobic organic contaminant by geosorbents. Environmental Science and Technology, 12, 3341–3347.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Masclet, P., Hoyau, V., & Jaffrezo, J. L. (2000). Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon deposition on the ice sheet of Greenland, part I: Superficial Snow. Atmospheric Environment, 34, 3195–3207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Meleshyn, A., & Tunega, D. (2011). Adsorption of phenanthrene on Na-montmorillonite: A model study. Geoderma, 169, 41–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Mohamad, I., Hwejeh, I., & Nasser, M. (2011). Distribution of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in marine shore sediments of Alkaber Aljanuby River estuary, boundary river (Syria-Lebanon). Fresenius Environmental Bulletin, 20(10), 2624–2631.Google Scholar
  25. Nanuam, J., Zuddas, P., Sawangwong, P., & Pachana, K. (2013). Modeling of PAHs adsorption on Thai clay minerals under seawater solution conditions. Procedia Earth and Planetary Science, 7, 607–610.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Ockenden, W. A., Breivik, K., Meijer, S. N., Steinnes, E., Sweetman, A. J., & Jones, K. C. (2003). The global re-cycling of persistent organic pollutants is strongly retarded by soils. Environment Pollution, 121, 75–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Pignatello, J. J., & Xing, B. (1996). Mechanisms of slow sorption of organic chemicals to natural particles. Environmental Science and Technology, 30, 1–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Ping, L. F., Guo, Q., Chen, X. Y., Yuan, X. L., Zhang, C. R., & Zhao, H. (2017). Biodegradation of pyrene and benzo[a]pyrene in the liquid matrix and soil by a newly identified Raoultella planticola strain. 3 Biotech, 7, 56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Ping, L. F., Luo, Y. M., Wu, L. H., Qian, W., Song, J., & Christie, P. (2006). Phenanthrene adsorption by soils treated with humic substances under different Ph and temperature conditions. Environmental Geochemistry and Health, 28, 189–195.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Ping, L. F., Luo, Y. M., Zhang, H. B., Li, Q. B., & Wu, L. H. (2007). Concentrations and distribution of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the 30 typical soil profiles of Yangtze River Delta region, China. Environmental Pollution, 147, 358–365.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Schlautman, M. A., & Morgan, J. J. (1993). Effects of aqueous chemistry on the binding of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons by dissolved humic materials. Environmental Science and Technology, 27, 961–969.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Soares, A. A., Moldrup, P., Minh, L. N., Vendelboe, A. L., Schjonning, P., & Jonge, L. W. D. (2013). Sorption of Phenanthrene on agricultural soils. Water, Air, and Soil pollution, 224, 1519–1530.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Tremolada, P., Guazzoni, N., Smillovich, L., Moia, F., & Comolli, R. (2012). The Effect of the organic matter composition on POP accumulation in soil. Water, Air, and Soil pollution, 223, 4539–4556.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Wang, J., Zhang, X., Ling, W., Liu, R., Liu, J., Kang, F. X., et al. (2017). Contamination and health risk assessment of PAHs in soils and crops in industrial areas of the Yangtze River Delta region, China. Chemosphere, 168, 976–987.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Wu, Q. H., Leung, J. Y. S., Tam, N. F. Y., Chen, S. J., Mai, B. X., Zhou, X. Z., et al. (2014). Biological risk and pollution history of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in Nansha mangrove, South China. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 85, 92–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Yu, H. S., Zhu, L. Z., & Zhou, W. J. (2007). Enhanced desorption and biodegradation of phenanthrene in soil–water systems with the presence of anionic–nonionic mixed surfactants. Journal of Hazard Materials, 142, 354–361.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Zhang, D., Duan, D., Huang, Y., Yang, Y., & Ran, Y. (2016). Novel phenanthrene sorption mechanism by two pollens and their fractions. Environment Science and Technology, 50, 7305–7314.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Zhang, P. C., & Sparks, D. L. (1989). Kinetics and mechanisms of molybdate adsorption/desorption at the goethite/water interface using pressure-jump relaxations. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 53, 1028–1034.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Recycling and Eco-treatment of Waste Biomass of Zhejiang ProvinceZhejiang University of Science and TechnologyHangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Soil and Environment Bioremediation Research Centre, Institute of Soil ScienceChinese Academy of SciencesNanjingPeople’s Republic of China

Personalised recommendations