John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Sorption and desorption of alcohol sulfate surfactants in an agricultural soil

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Alcohol sulfates are one of the most important types of commercial anionic surfactants and may pose serious environmental problems. The present study examines the sorption behavior of alcohol sulfates in an agricultural soil using a batch reactor and column experiments. Kinetics and equilibrium isotherms of the sorption/desorption processes of alcohol sulfate homologues: AS‐C12, AS‐C14, AS‐C16 and AS‐C18, have been determined. Sorption and desorption occurred rapidly and equilibrium was achieved in aproximately 1 h. The sorbed mass percentages were 35.1% AS‐C12, 67.2% AS‐C14 and 100% for both AS‐C16 and AS‐C18. A pseudo‐first order kinetic model provided an adequate fit of data. Sorption and desorption equilibrium data were fitted into: 1) linear model, with R2 values in the range 0.712–0.988 and 0.736–0.983 respectively and 2) Freundlich model, with R2 values in the range 0.956–0.991 and 0.891–0.981 for sorption and desorption equilibrium respectively. Continuous‐flow experiments in soil columns were carried out to obtain the breakthrough curves for each compound. The present study provides basic theoretical concepts and key parameters for developing mathematical models that simulate the migration of AS into agricultural soils. Environ Toxicol Chem © 2013 SETAC

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