Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 15, pp 15111–15119 | Cite as

Repeatability of n-octanol/water partition coefficient values between liquid chromatography measurement methods

  • Parichehr SaranjampourEmail author
  • Kevin Armbrust
Research Article


The n-octanol/water partition coefficient (KOW) is a physical/chemical property that is extensively used for regulatory and environmental risk and exposure assessments. The KOW value can estimate various chemical properties such as water solubility, bioavailability, and toxicity using quantitative structure-activity relationships which demands an accurate knowledge of this property. The present investigation aims to compare outcomes of three commonly cited methods of KOW measurement in the literature for six hydrophobic chemicals with insecticidal functions as well as highly volatile petroleum constituents. This measurement has been difficult to obtain for the selected pyrethroid insecticides, cypermethrin, and bifenthrin and is a novel measurement for the latter: polycyclic aromatic sulfur heterocycles, dibenzothiophene (DBT), and three of its alkyl derivatives except for DBT. The KOW values were obtained using two liquid chromatographic methods with isocratic and gradient programming, and the slow-stirring method following OECD 117 and 123 guidelines, respectively. The mean log KOW values of bifenthrin, cypermethrin, DBT, methyl-DBT, dimethyl-DBT, and diethyl-DBT were 8.4 ± 0.1, 6.0 ± 0.3, 4.8 ± 0.0, 5.4 ± 0.1, 6.0 ± 0.1, and 6.8 ± 0.0 using the HPLC method with gradient programing. The KOW values were significantly reproducible within a method, however, not between the methods. Results suggest assessing a chemical’s property and environmental risk and exposure solely based on the KOW value should be practiced with caution.


Physical/chemical property Estimation n-octanol/water partition coefficient Pesticides Bifenthrin Cypermethrin Dibenzothiophenes Reproducibility 



This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Supplementary material

11356_2018_1729_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (808 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 807 kb)
11356_2018_1729_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (188 kb)
ESM 2 (PDF 188 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental Sciences, College of the Coast and EnvironmentLouisiana State UniversityBaton RougeUSA

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