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Dioxins, chlorophenols and other chlorinated organic pollutants in colloidal and water fractions of groundwater from a contaminated sawmill site
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Chemistry.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Chemistry.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Chemistry.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Chemistry.
2008 (English)In: Environmental Science and Pollution Research, Vol. 15, no 6, 463-71 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background, aim, and scope The distribution of chlorinated organic contaminants in groundwater and the importance of colloids were studied in groundwater from a sawmill site contaminated by chlorophenol preservatives.

Materials and methods The groundwater was fractionated into three different size ranges: (1) >0.7 μm, (2) 0.4–0.7 μm and (3) 0.2–0.4 μm and the filtered water phase. The concentrations of chlorophenols (CP), chlorinated phenoxy phenols (PCPP), chlorinated diphenyl ethers (PCDE), chlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDF) and chlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDD) were determined in each fraction. The colloids were characterised regarding the chemical composition using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS).

Results Chlorophenols were mostly found in the water fraction and PCDD/Fs were found almost exclusively in the particulate fractions. For example, the filtered water phase contained 2,100 μg l−1 and 0.72 ng l−1 for CPs and PCDD/Fs, respectively, and the particulate fractions contained 27 μg l−1 and 32 ng l−1 for CPs and PCDD/Fs, respectively. XPS evaluation of the particulate phases showed no correlation between the surface chemistry of the particle properties and the distribution of chlorinated compounds.

Discussion The results suggest that groundwater transport of CPs, PCPPs, PCDEs and PCDD/Fs may occur from contaminated sawmill sites and that the colloid-facilitated transport, especially of PCDD/Fs, is substantial. The results correlated well with previous studies of compounds sorbed to dissolved organic carbon, which indicate that dissolved and colloidal organic carbon facilitated the transport of PCDEs, PCDFs and PCDDs particularly.

Conclusions Several classes of chlorinated compounds were readily detected in the groundwater samples. Due to the differences in their physicochemical properties, CPs, PCPPs, PCDEs and PCDD/Fs vary in their partitioning between colloidal fractions and the filtered groundwater. The proportion of the bound fraction increased with an increasing hydrophobicity of the chlorinated compounds. The groundwater transport of colloid-associated pollutants from the site may be significant.

Recommendations and perspectives The results imply that colloidal particles <0.7 μm are freely mobile in groundwater from this site. The groundwater transport of colloid-associated pollutants may be significant. However, the extent of the problem is not yet known and, thus, further research is needed to evaluate the impact of colloidal transport of hydrophobic organic contaminants. In Sweden alone, 400 to 500 sawmill sites are estimated to be contaminated with PCDD/Fs as a result of the former use of CP-based wood preservatives. The widespread use of CP mixtures for a variety of applications, including wood preservation, indicates that potential colloidal transport will be an issue of concern in many countries.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 15, no 6, 463-71 p.
Keyword [en]
Chlorinated dibenzofuran, Chlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxin, Chlorinated diphenyl ethers, Chlorophenols, Chlorinated phenoxy phenols, Colloidal transport, Contaminated soil, Hydrophobic contaminants, Wood preservation
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-10007DOI: doi:10.1007/s11356-008-0014-3OAI: diva2:149678
Available from: 2008-09-04 Created: 2008-09-04 Last updated: 2011-01-10Bibliographically approved

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Shchukarev, AndreyÖberg, LarsTysklind, Mats
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