In situ sorption of hydrophobic organic compounds to sediment amended with activated carbon

D. Kupryianchyk, M.I. Rakowska, J.T.C. Grotenhuis, A.A. Koelmans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Contaminated sediments can be remediated by adding carbonaceous materials (CM), e.g. activated carbons (AC). Here, we analyze published datasets from AC amendment trials to identify variation in the effectiveness of AC in reducing porewater concentrations of hydrophobic organic contaminants (HOCs). The analysis uses a model that separates the contribution of HOC sorption to AC by parameterzing the sorption contributions by amorphous organic matter and black carbon (BC). It appears that sorption to BC increased with LogKOW, whereas sorption to AC showed a relatively narrow range of affinity properties with a median Freundlich LogKF,AC value of 7.2 (µg/kgAC)/(µg/L)n (IQR = 7.0–7.5) for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and 8.6 (IQR = 8.3–8.8) for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Estimated Freundlich exponents were nF,AC = 0.74 for PCBs and 0.82 for PAH. Sorption to AC was stronger than to BC for chemicals below LogKOW = 6.3–6.6. For HOC risk reduction this is favorable, because chemicals with low KOW show generally higher bioavailable concentrations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-29
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • polycyclic aromatic-hydrocarbons
  • polychlorinated biphenyl sorption
  • environmental black carbon
  • contaminated sediments
  • partition-coefficients
  • marine-sediments
  • phenanthrene sorption
  • aqueous solubilities
  • accumulation factors
  • native pahs


Dive into the research topics of 'In situ sorption of hydrophobic organic compounds to sediment amended with activated carbon'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this