Vapor sorption capacities on a high-organic-content peat, a model for soil organic matter (SOM), were determined at room temperature for the following liquids: n-hexane, 1,4-dioxane, nitroethane, acetone, acetonitrile, 1-propanol, ethanol, and methanol. The linear organic vapor sorption is in keeping with the dominance of vapor partition in peat SOM. These data and similar results of carbon tetrachloride (CT), trichloroethylene (TCE), benzene, ethylene glycol monoethyl ether (EGME), and water on the same peat from earlier studies are used to evaluate the effect of polarity on the vapor partition in SOM. The extrapolated liquid solubility from the vapor isotherm increases sharply from 3-6 wt % for low-polarity liquids (hexane, CT, and benzene) to 62 wt % for polar methanol and correlates positively with the liquid's component solubility parameters for polar interaction (??P) and hydrogen bonding (??h). The same polarity effect may be expected to influence the relative solubilities of a variety of contaminants in SOM and, therefore, the relative deviations between the SOM-water partition coefficients (Kom) and corresponding octanol-water partition coefficients (Kow) for different classes of compounds. The large solubility disparity in SOM between polar and nonpolar solutes suggests that the accurate prediction of Kom from Kow or Sw (solute water solubility) would be limited to compounds of similar polarity.
Additional publication details
Effects of polar and nonpolar groups on the solubility of organic compounds in soil organic matter