Role of pH in partitioning and cation exchange of aromatic amines on water-saturated soils
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Predicting the reversible interactions between aromatic amines and soil is essential for assessing the mobility, bioavailability and exposure from contaminated sites. Reversible sorption mechanisms of aniline and α-naphthylamine were investigated by using single and binary solute sorption to five soils at several pH values, and by applying a distributed parameter (DP) model. The DP model assumes linear partitioning of the neutral species into soil organic matter domains and organic cation binding on negative-charged sites with the exchange coefficients represented by a Gaussian probability distribution. Sorption nonlinearity was attributed to cation exchange with varying site affinities, which was adequately simulated using the DP model. Greater uptake by hydrophobic partitioning and selectivity for cation exchange sites was observed for α-naphthylamine compared to aniline. Sorption of α-naphthylamine was not impacted quantitatively by aniline under those conditions examined; however, aniline sorption was reduced by α-naphthylamine with the largest reduction occurring in the soil with the lowest pH. DP model simulations showed that although hydrophobic partitioning increases with soil–solution pH, cation exchange still contributes significantly to the total sorption even at soil–solution pH values greater than pKa+2.