The influence of surfactants on the solubility of acenaphthene and phenanthrene and their extraction from spiked soils.
In the first phase of the study, the effect of five Safol surfactants on the aqueous solubility of phenanthrene and acenaphthene was determined. The fixed variables were temperature and ionic strength, while surfactant concentration and pH were varied. Quantification of the polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) was conducted by UV-Visible spectrophotometry. The surfactants had little or no effect on analyte solubilisation below the critical micelle concentration (CMC) while a linear relationship between surfactant concentration and amount of solubilised phenanthrene was observed above CMC concentrations. Safol 45E5 had the highest phenanthrene molar solubilisation ratio (0.83) of the five surfactants tested. The solubilisation of phenanthrene increased marginally (4.1 % for Safol 45E12 and 15.2 % for Safol 45E7) by decreasing the pH from 8 to 5. The concentration of solubilised acenaphthene was 8.4 % higher than phenanthrene in a 1 mM solution of Safol 45E7. The aqueous solubility of phenanthrene was enhanced 11.0, 21.2, 19.6, 15.9 and 14.7 times in 1 mM solutions of Safol 45E3, 45E5, 45E7, 45E9 and 45E12 respectively. Seasand, Longlands sand, Longlands soil and a standard soil sample were spiked with the two PAHs and aged for two weeks. API sludge provided by Sasol and unspiked samples of the above mentioned sorbents were subjected to determinations of organic matter content, particle size distribution and moisture content. The spiked soils and sands and the sludge samples were then washed in various concentrations of Safol 45E7 (0.5, 1.0 and 2.0 mM) at the same temperature used in the solubility studies. A soil mass to solution volume of lg to 10 mL was used. Analyses of the soil and sand samples were conducted by High Pressure Liquid Chromatography (HPLC). Using a 2 mM Safol 45E7 surfactant solution, 100 % and 90 % of phenanthrene and acenaphthene were respectively extracted from Longlands sand and 88 % and 100 % of phenanthrene and acenaphthene were removed from seasand. 8.4 % phenanthrene and 8.17 % of acenaphthene was removed from Longlands soil, while 7.03 % phenanthrene and 6.64 % acenaphthene was removed from the standard soil sample. In the sand desorption studies, the amount of desorbed contaminants initially increased rapidly with increasing surfactant concentration, before levelling off at equilibrium. The amount of desorbed acenaphthene and phenanthrene increased exponentially with increasing surfactant concentration while contaminant concentrations decreased with increasing time in the Longlands soil and standard soil desorption experiments. Dry API sludge samples were also subjected to soil washing studies. The washed samples were Soxhlet extracted and analysed by gas chromatography. The 0.5 mM and 1 mM Safol 45E7 washed sludge samples showed respective phenanthrene peak area percent reductions representing a 44 % and 47 % extraction of phenanthrene from the API sludge.