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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Binding of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) by organic soil materials with different structural composition - Charge- and concentration-dependent sorption behavior

Campos-Pereira, Hugo; Makselon, Jennifer; Kleja, Dan B.; Prater, Isabel; Kogel-Knabner, Ingrid; Ahrens, Lutz; Gustafsson, Jon Petter


The charge-and concentration-dependent sorption behavior of a range of per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) was studied for three organic soil samples with different organic matter quality, one Spodosol Oe horizon (Mor Oe) and two Sphagnum peats with different degrees of decomposition (Peat Oi and Peat Oe). Sorption to the two peat materials was, on average, four times stronger compared to that onto the Mor Oe material. In particular, longer-chained PFASs were more strongly bound by the two peats as compared to the Mor Oe sample. The combined results of batch sorption experiments and 13C NMR spectroscopy suggested sorption to be positively related to the content of carbohydrates (i.e., O-alkyl carbon). Sorption of all PFAS subclasses was inversely related to the pH value in all soils, with the largest pH effects being observed for perfluoroalkyl carboxylates (PFCAs) with C-10 and C-11 perfluorocarbon chain lengths. Experimentally determined sorption isotherms onto the poorly humified Peat Oi did not deviate significantly from linearity for most substances, while for the Mor Oe horizon, sorption nonlinearity was generally more pronounced. This work should prove useful in assessing PFAS sorption and leaching in organic soil horizons within environmental risk assessment.


PFAS; Mor; Peat; Spodosol; Sphagnum; C-13 NMR

Published in

2022, volume: 297, article number: 134167

Authors' information

De Campos Pereira, Hugo (de Campos Pereira, Hugo)
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Soil and Environment
Makselon, Jennifer
No organisation
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Soil and Environment
Swedish Geotechnical Institute (SGI)
Prater, Isabel
Technical University of Munich
Kogel-Knabner, Ingrid
Technical University of Munich
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment
Gustafsson, Jon Petter (Gustafsson, Jon-Petter)
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Soil and Environment

UKÄ Subject classification

Environmental Sciences

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