Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 23, Issue 11, pp 10382–10392 | Cite as

Fate and transport of perfluoro- and polyfluoroalkyl substances including perfluorooctane sulfonamides in a managed urban water body

  • Tung V. Nguyen
  • Martin ReinhardEmail author
  • Huiting Chen
  • Karina Y.-H. Gin
Recent sediments: environmental chemistry, ecotoxicology and engineering


Transport and fate of perfluoro- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in an urban water body that receives mainly urban runoff was investigated. Water, suspended solids, and sediment samples were collected during the monsoon (wet) and inter-monsoon (dry) season at different sites and depths. Samples were analyzed for C7 to C12 perfluoroalkyl carboxylate homologues (PFCAs) (PFHpA, PFOA, PFNA, PFDA, PFUnA, PFDoA), perfluorohexane, perfluorooctane, and 6:2-fluorotelomer sulfonate (PFHxS, PFOS, and 6:2FtS, respectively), perfluorooctane sulfonamide (FOSA), N-ethyl FOSA (sulfluramid), N-ethyl sulfonamidoethanol (N-EtFOSE), and N-methyl and N-ethyl sulfonamidoacetic acid (N-EtFOSAA and N-MeFOSAA, respectively). Concentrations in wet samples were only slightly higher. The sum total PFAS (ΣPFAS) concentrations dissolved in the aqueous phase and sorbed to suspended solids (SS) ranged from 107 to 253 ng/L and 11 to 158 ng/L, respectively. PFOA, PFOS, PFNA, PFHxS, and PFDA contributed most (approximately 90 %) to the dissolved ΣPFASs. N-EtFOSA dominated the particulate PFAS burden in wet samples. K D values of PFOA and PFOS calculated from paired SS and water concentrations varied widely (1.4 to 13.7 and 1.9 to 98.9 for PFOA and PFOS, respectively). Field derived K D was significantly higher than laboratory K D suggesting hydrophobic PFASs sorbed to SS resist desorption. The ΣPFAS concentrations in the top sedimentary layer ranged from 8 to 42 μg/kg and indicated preferential accumulation of the strongly sorbing long-chain PFASs. The occurrence of the metabolites N-MeFOSAA, N-EtFOSAA and FOSA in the water column and sediments may have resulted from biological or photochemical transformations of perfluorooctane sulfonamide precursors while the absence of FOSA, N-EtFOSA and 6:2FtS in sediments was consistent with biotransformation.


Urban runoff Perfluorinated compounds Transport Suspended solids Perfluorooctane sulfonamide Sediment 



Wang Yue has assisted in sampling and sample preparation during the final year project at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, National University of Singapore (NUS). This research was funded by the Singapore National Research Foundation and publication was supported under the Campus for Research Excellence and Technological Enterprise (CREATE) program. We are grateful to PUB, Singapore’s National Water Agency, for logistical support.

Supplementary material

11356_2016_6788_MOESM1_ESM.docx (106 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 105 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tung V. Nguyen
    • 1
  • Martin Reinhard
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Huiting Chen
    • 2
  • Karina Y.-H. Gin
    • 2
    • 4
  1. 1.Public Utilities Board (PUB)SingaporeSingapore
  2. 2.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore
  3. 3.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringStanford UniversityStanfordUSA
  4. 4.NUS Environmental Research InstituteNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore

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