Persulfate oxidation was validated as a method to predict polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) bioavailability in soils and sediments. It was demonstrated for 14 field contaminated soils and sediments that residual PAH concentrations after a short (3 h) persulfate oxidation correspond well to residual PAH concentrations after 21 days of biodegradation. Persulfate oxidation of samples that had first been subjected to biodegradation yielded only limited additional PAH oxidation. This implies that oxidation and biodegradation removed approximately the same PAH fraction. Persulfate oxidation thus provides a good and rapid method for the prediction of PAH bioavailability. Thermogravimetric analysis of oxidized and untreated samples showed that persulfate oxidation primarily affected expanded organic matter. The results indicate that this expanded organic matter contained mainly readily bioavailable PAHs.
Cuypers, M. P., Grotenhuis, J. T. C., Joziasse, J., & Rulkens, W. H. (2000). Rapid persulfate oxidation predicts PAH bioavailability in soils and sediments. Environmental Science and Technology, 34(10), 2057-2063. https://doi.org/10.1021/es991132z