The sorption isotherms of ethylene dibromide (EDB), diuron (DUN), and 3,5-dichlorophenol (DCP) from water on the humic acid and humin fractions of a peat soil and on the humic-acid of a muck soil have been measured. The data were compared with those of the solutes with the whole peat from which the humic-acid (HA) and humin (HM) fractions were derived and on which the sorption of the solutes exhibited varying extents of nonlinear capacities at low relative concentrations (C(e)/S(w)). The HA fraction as prepared by the density-fractionated method is relatively pure and presumably free of high- surface-area carbonaceous material (HSACM) that is considered to be responsible for the observed nonlinear sorption for nonpolar solutes (e.g., EDB) on the peat; conversely, the base-insoluble HM fraction as prepared is presumed to be enriched with HSACM, as manifested by the greatly higher BET- (N2) surface area than that of the whole peat. The sorption of EDB on HA exhibits no visible nonlinear effect, whereas the sorption on HM shows an enhanced nonlinearity over that on the whole peat. The sorption of polar DUN and DCP on HA and HM display nonlinear effects comparable with those on the whole peat; the effects are much more significant than those with nonpolar EDB. These results conform to the hypothesis that adsorption onto a small amount of strongly adsorbing HSACM is largely responsible for the nonlinear sorption of nonpolar solutes on soils and that additional specific interactions with the active groups of soil organic matter are responsible for the generally higher nonlinear sorption of the polar solutes.
Additional publication details
Sorption of selected organic compounds from water to a peat soil and its humic-acid and humin fractions: Potential sources of the sorption nonlinearity