The migration through soil of organic solutes in an oil-shale process water (retort water) was studied by using soil columns and analyzing leachates for various organic constituents. Retort water extracted significant quantities of organic anions leached from ammonium-saturated-soil organic matter, and a distilled-water rinse, which followed retort-water leaching, released additional organic acids from the soil. After being corrected for organic constitutents extracted from soil by retort water, dissolved-organic-carbon fractionation analyses of effluent fractions showed that the order of increasing affinity of six organic compound classes for the soil was as follows: hydrophilic neutrals nearly equal to hydrophilic acids, followed by the sequence of hydrophobic acids, hydrophilic bases, hydrophobic bases, and hydrophobic neutrals. Liquid-chromatographic analysis of the aromatic amines in the hydrophobic- and hydrophilic-base fractions showed that the relative order of the rates of migration through the soil column was the same as the order of migration on a reversed-phase, octadecylsilica liquid-chromatographic column.
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Migration through soil of organic solutes in an oil-shale process water