Desorption kinetics and isotherms of phenanthrene from contaminated soil

  • Farzaneh Gharibzadeh
  • Roshanak Rezaei KalantaryEmail author
  • Ali Esrafili
  • Masoumeh Ravanipour
  • Ali Azari
Research Article



Prediction of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) desorption from soil to estimate available fraction regarding to initial concentration of the contaminant is of great important in soil pollution management, which has poorly been understood until now. In the present study estimation of fast desorption fraction which is considered as available fraction was conducted by evaluating desorption kinetics of phenanthrene (a three ring PAH) from artificially contaminated soils through the mathematical models.


Desorption rate of phenanthrene (PHE) was investigated by using the nonionic surfactant Tween80 in a series of batch experiments. The effects of reaction time from 5 to 1440 min and initial PHE concentration in the range of 100–1600 mg/kg were studied.


Available fractions of the contaminant were achieved within the first hour of desorption process as the system reached to equilibrium conditions. Experimental data were examined by using kinetic models including pseudo-first-order, pseudo-second-order in four linearized forms, and fractional power. Among the models tested, experimental data were well described by pseudo-second-order model type (III) and (IV) and fractional power equation. Fast desorption rates, as Available fractions were determined 79%, 46%, 40%, 39%, and 35% for initial PHE concentrations of 100, 400, 800, 1200, and 1600 mg/kg respectively. Among the evaluated isotherm models, including Freundlich, Langmuir in four linearized forms, and Temkin, the equilibrium data were well fitted by the first one.


Applying the nonionic surfactant Tween80 is a useful method to determine available fraction of the contaminant. This method will provide the management of contaminated sites by choosing a proper technique for remediation and predicting achievable treatment efficiency.


Phenanthrene Desorption Tween 80 Kinetic Isotherm 



This research has been supported by Tehran University of Medical Sciences & health Services [grant number 93-02-61-25084].

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


  1. 1.
    López-Vizcaíno R, Sáez C, Cañizares P, Rodrigo MA. The use of a combined process of surfactant-aided soil washing and coagulation for PAH-contaminated soils treatment. Sep Purif Technol. 2012;88:46–51. Scholar
  2. 2.
    Ravanipour M, Kalantary R, Mohseni-Bandpi A, Esrafili A, Farzadkia M, Hashemi-Najafabadi S. Experimental design approach to the optimization of PAHs bioremediation from artificially contaminated soil: application of variables screening development. J Environ Health Sci Eng. 2015;13(1):1–10. Scholar
  3. 3.
    Aryal M, Liakopoulou-Kyriakides M. Biodegradation and kinetics of phenanthrene and pyrene in the presence of nonionic surfactants by Arthrobacter strain Sphe3. Water Air Soil Pollut. 2013;224(2):1–10. Scholar
  4. 4.
    Rezaei Kalantari R, Badkoubi A, Mohseni-bandpi A, Esrafili A, Jorfi S, Dehghanifard E. Modification of PAHs biodegradation with humic compounds. Soil Sediment Contam. 2013;22(2):185–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Portet-Koltalo F, Ammami MT, Benamar A, Wang H, Le Derf F, Duclairoir-Poc C. Investigation of the release of PAHs from artificially contaminated sediments using cyclolipopeptidic biosurfactants. J Hazard Mater. 2013;261:593–601. Scholar
  6. 6.
    Mao J, Luo Y, Teng Y, Li Z. Bioremediation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon-contaminated soil by a bacterial consortium and associated microbial community changes. Int Biodeterior Biodegrad 2012;70(0):141–147.
  7. 7.
    Kalantary RR, Mohseni-Bandpi A, Esrafili A, Nasseri S, Ashmagh FR, Jorfi S, et al. Effectiveness of biostimulation through nutrient content on the bioremediation of phenanthrene contaminated soil. J Environ Health Sci Eng. 2014;12(1):143. Scholar
  8. 8.
    Yap CL, Gan S, Ng HK. Ethyl lactate-Fenton treatment of soil highly contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Chem Eng J. 2012;200–202:247–56. Scholar
  9. 9.
    Saberi N, Aghababaei M, Ostovar M, Mehrnahad H. Simultaneous removal of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon and heavy metals from an artificial clayey soil by enhanced electrokinetic method. J Environ Manag. 2018;217:897–905. Scholar
  10. 10.
    Falciglia PP, Malarbì D, Greco V, Vagliasindi FGA. Surfactant and MGDA enhanced – Electrokinetic treatment for the simultaneous removal of mercury and PAHs from marine sediments. Sep Purif Technol. 2017;175:330–9. Scholar
  11. 11.
    Zhou W, Zhu L. Enhanced soil flushing of phenanthrene by anionic–nonionic mixed surfactant. Water Res. 2008;42(1–2):101–8. Scholar
  12. 12.
    Mousset E, Huguenot D, van Hullebusch ED, Oturan N, Guibaud G, Esposito G, et al. Impact of electrochemical treatment of soil washing solution on PAH degradation efficiency and soil respirometry. Environ Pollut. 2016;211:354–62. Scholar
  13. 13.
    Fonseca B, Pazos M, Figueiredo H, Tavares T, Sanromán MA. Desorption kinetics of phenanthrene and lead from historically contaminated soil. Chem Eng J. 2011;167(1):84–90. Scholar
  14. 14.
    Barnier C, Ouvrard S, Robin C, Morel JL. Desorption kinetics of PAHs from aged industrial soils for availability assessment. Sci Total Environ. 2014;470-471:639–45. Scholar
  15. 15.
    Mouton J, Mercier G, Blais J-F. Amphoteric surfactants for PAH and lead polluted-soil treatment using flotation. Water Air Soil Pollut. 2009;197(1–4):381–93. Scholar
  16. 16.
    Ahn CK, Kim YM, Woo SH, Park JM. Soil washing using various nonionic surfactants and their recovery by selective adsorption with activated carbon. J Hazard Mater 2008;154(1–3):153–60., 153.
  17. 17.
    Wei Y, Liang X, Lin W, Guo C, Dang Z. Clay mineral dependent desorption of pyrene from soils by single and mixed anionic–nonionic surfactants. Chem Eng J. 2015;264:807–14. Scholar
  18. 18.
    Zhu L, Zhou W. Partitioning of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons to solid-sorbed nonionic surfactants. Environ Pollut. 2008;152(1):130–7. Scholar
  19. 19.
    Alcántara MT, Gómez J, Pazos M, Sanromán MA. PAHs soil decontamination in two steps: desorption and electrochemical treatment. J Hazard Mater. 2009;166(1):462–8. Scholar
  20. 20.
    Jin D, Jiang X, Jing X, Ou Z. Effects of concentration, head group, and structure of surfactants on the degradation of phenanthrene. J Hazard Mater. 2007;144(1–2):215–21. Scholar
  21. 21.
    Haddadi SH, Niri VH, Pawliszyn J. Study of desorption kinetics of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) from solid matrices using internally cooled coated fiber. Anal Chim Acta. 2009;652(1–2):224–30. Scholar
  22. 22.
    Cheng KY, Wong JWC. Combined effect of nonionic surfactant tween 80 and DOM on the behaviors of PAHs in soil–water system. Chemosphere. 2006;62(11):1907–16. Scholar
  23. 23.
    Peng S, Wu W, Chen J. Removal of PAHs with surfactant-enhanced soil washing: influencing factors and removal effectiveness. Chemosphere. 2011;82(8):1173–7. Scholar
  24. 24.
    Zhou W, Zhu L. Efficiency of surfactant-enhanced desorption for contaminated soils depending on the component characteristics of soil-surfactant–PAHs system. Environ Pollut. 2007;147(1):66–73. Scholar
  25. 25.
    Gharibzadeh F, Rezaei Kalantary R, Nasseri S, Esrafili A, Azari A. Reuse of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) contaminated soil washing effluent by bioaugmentation/biostimulation process. Sep Purif Technol. 2016;168:248–56. Scholar
  26. 26.
    Laha S, Tansel B, Ussawarujikulchai A. Surfactant–soil interactions during surfactant-amended remediation of contaminated soils by hydrophobic organic compounds: a review. J Environ Manag. 2009;90(1):95–100. Scholar
  27. 27.
    Saeedi M, Li LY, Grace JR. Desorption and mobility mechanisms of co-existing polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and heavy metals in clays and clay minerals. J Environ Manag. 2018;214:204–14. Scholar
  28. 28.
    Zhao B, Zhu L, Gao Y. A novel solubilization of phenanthrene using Winsor I microemulsion-based sodium castor oil sulfate. J Hazard Mater. 2005;119(1):205–11. Scholar
  29. 29.
    Viglianti C, Hanna K, de Brauer C, Germain P. Removal of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons from aged-contaminated soil using cyclodextrins: experimental study. Environ Pollut. 2006;140(3):427–35. Scholar
  30. 30.
    Wang G, Zhou Y, Wang X, Chai X, Huang L, Deng N. Simultaneous removal of phenanthrene and lead from artificially contaminated soils with glycine-β-cyclodextrin. J Hazard Mater. 2010;184(1–3):690–5. Scholar
  31. 31.
    Behnamfard A, Salarirad MM. Equilibrium and kinetic studies on free cyanide adsorption from aqueous solution by activated carbon. J Hazard Mater. 2009;170(1):127–33. Scholar
  32. 32.
    Ahmadi M, Hazrati Niari M, Kakavandi B. Development of maghemite nanoparticles supported on cross-linked chitosan (γ-Fe2O3@CS) as a recoverable mesoporous magnetic composite for effective heavy metals removal. J Mol Liq. 2017;248:184–96. Scholar
  33. 33.
    Zhou W, Wang X, Chen C, Zhu L. Enhanced soil washing of phenanthrene by a plant-derived natural biosurfactant, Sapindus saponin. Colloids Surf A Physicochem Eng Asp. 2013;425(0):122–8. Scholar
  34. 34.
    Yu H, Huang G-h, An C-j, Wei J. Combined effects of DOM extracted from site soil/compost and biosurfactant on the sorption and desorption of PAHs in a soil–water system. J Hazard Mater. 2011;190(1–3):883–90. Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Farzaneh Gharibzadeh
    • 1
    • 2
  • Roshanak Rezaei Kalantary
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  • Ali Esrafili
    • 3
    • 4
  • Masoumeh Ravanipour
    • 5
  • Ali Azari
    • 6
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Students’ Scientific Research Center (SSRC)Tehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  2. 2.Department of Environmental Health Engineering, School of Public HealthTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  3. 3.Research Center for Environmental Health Technology (RCEHT)Iran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  4. 4.Department of Environmental Health Engineering, Faculty of Public HealthIran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  5. 5.Department of Environmental Health Engineering, Faculty of Public HealthBushehr University of Medical SciencesBushehrIran
  6. 6.Department of Environmental Health Engineering, Faculty of HealthKashan University of Medical SciencesKashanIran

Personalised recommendations