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Research article2023Peer reviewedOpen access

Analysis of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and their derivatives in biochar treated stormwater

Celma, Alberto; Dahlberg, Anna-Karin; Wiberg, Karin


Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), oxygenated PAHs (oxy-PAHs) and nitrogen heterocyclic polycyclic aromatic compounds (N-PACs) are persistent and semi-volatile organic compounds primarily formed due to incomplete combustion of organic material or, in the case of the derivatives, through transformation reactions of PAHs. Their presence in the environment is ubiquitous and many of them have been proven carcinogenic, teratogenic, and mutagenic. These toxic pollutants can therefore pose a threat to both ecosystem and human health and urges for remediation strategies for PAHs and derivatives from water bodies. Biochar is a carbon-rich material resulting from the pyrolysis of biomass resulting in a very porous matter with high surface area for an enhanced interaction with chemicals. This makes biochar a promising alternative for filtering micropollutants from contaminated aquatic bodies. In this work, a previously developed and validated methodology for the analysis of PAHs, oxy-PAHs and N-PACs in surface water samples was adapted for its utilization in biochar treated stormwater with special emphasis on scaling down the solid-phase extraction as well as including an additional filtering step for the removal of particulate matter in the media. & BULL; Optimized extraction method for PAHs, oxy-PAHs and N-PACs from stormwater treated with biochar. & BULL; Biochar strongly impacts the stormwater matrix and, therefore, additional steps are required in the extraction methodology. & BULL; Solid-phase extraction combined with GC-MS have been used to analyse PAHs, oxy-PAHs and N-PACs in stormwater treated with biochar.


Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs); Oxygenated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons; (oxy-PAHs); Nitrogen heterocyclic polycyclic aromatic; compounds (N-PACs); Biochar; Surface water; Sample preparation

Published in

2023, Volume: 10, article number: 102232Publisher: Elsevier B.V.