Nonylphenol ethoxylate (NPEOx) homologs present in commercial mixtures were rapidly adsorbed to and desorbed from native river sediment. Adsorption isotherms, established using high‐performance liquid chromatography analysis to monitor individual homologs NPEO3 to NPEO13 simultaneously, were linear for each component adsorbing to native sediment, organic‐free sediment, and kaolinite, usually with small positive intercepts on the isotherms indicating an additional low‐capacity, high‐affinity binding site. The adsorption partition coefficients (Kd) for the native sediment decreased progressively from 1,460 L/kg for NPEO3 to 450 L/kg for NPEO10, then increased again slightly for higher homologs. In contrast, Kd values for organic‐free sediment (range 230–590 L/kg) or kaolinite (190–490 L/kg) increased steadily from NPEO3 to NPEO13. Adsorptions to silica and alumina were very weak, but to sewage sludge all components adsorbed strongly (Kd values 12,000–33,000, with a maximum at NPEO7). The adsorption to sewage sludge was related to the low‐capacity, high‐affinity sites observed for native sediment. Dependence of Kd values on ethoxylate chain length was analyzed, in terms of both possible adsorption mechanisms, and the environmental fate and impact of NPEOxs as endocrine disruptors.
Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry – Wiley
Published: Feb 1, 2000
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