Sorption of organic contaminants (phenol, p-nitrophenol, and naphthalene) to natural solids (soils and bentonite) with and without myristylpyridinium bromide (MPB) cationic surfactant was studied to provide novel insight to interactions of contaminants with the mineral-adsorbed surfactant. Contaminant sorption coefficients with mineral-adsorbed surfactants, Kss, show a strong dependence on surfactant loading in the solid. At low surfactant levels, the Kss values increased with increasing sorbed surfactant mass, reached a maximum, and then decreased with increasing surfactant loading. The Kss values for contaminants were always higher than respective partition coefficients with surfactant micelles (Kmc) and natural organic matter (Koc). At examined MPB concentrations in water the three organic contaminants showed little solubility enhancement by MPB. At low sorbed-surfactant levels, the resulting mineral-adsorbed surfactant via the cation-exchange process appears to form a thin organic film, which effectively "adsorbs" the contaminants, resulting in very high Kss values. At high surfactant levels, the sorbed surfactant on minerals appears to form a bulklike medium that behaves essentially as a partition phase (rather than an adsorptive surface), with the resulting Kss being significantly decreased and less dependent on the MPB loading. The results provide a reference to the use of surfactants for remediation of contaminated soils/sediments or groundwater in engineered surfactant-enhanced washing.
Additional publication details
Interactions of organic contaminants with mineral-adsorbed surfactants