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Source apportionment and quantification of natural attenuation of chlorophenols in contaminated soils using compound-specific isotopic signatures

English title Source apportionment and quantification of natural attenuation of chlorophenols in contaminated soils using compound-specific isotopic signatures
Applicant Aeppli Christoph
Number 124298
Funding scheme Fellowships for prospective researchers
Research institution Department of Applied Environmental Science Stockholm University
Institution of higher education Institution abroad - IACH
Main discipline Other disciplines of Environmental Sciences
Start/End 01.01.2009 - 31.12.2009
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Keywords (6)

environmental risk assessment; pentachlorophenol; biodegradation; kinetic isotope effect; compound-specific radiocarbon analysis; sawmill field site

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Lay summary
Aim of Project
The project aims to develop novel methods, which are based on shifts of stable isotope ratios (37Cl/35Cl and 13C/12C), for assessing source and fate of contaminants in the environment. Specifically, the goals are to (i) develop on-line 37Cl/35Cl analytical methods for chlorophenol (CP) congeners, (ii) investigate isotopic fractionation during aerobic and anaerobic biodegradation of CPs, (iii) apply multi-dimensional isotope analysis to identify and quantify their transformation processes at contaminated field sites, and (iv) use radiocarbon analysis to decipher contributions of natural and anthropogenic sources of CPs at contaminated and pristine field sites.

Background and Relevance of the Project
To assess sites with contaminated soil in industrialized regions such as Europe, methods that allow identifying sources and quantifying biotransformation of pollutants are required. Multi-dimensional compound-specific isotopic analysis is a very promising tool to this end. In the proposed project, this method will be applied to apportion sources and to quantify degradation of CPs at sawmill field sites. CPs belong the group of organochlorines (OCl), which are important man-made contaminants in groundwater and soil ecosystems. Many OCl have shown to be biodegradable, leading to natural attenuation of field sites. However, the identification of this process is not easy. Moreover, many OCl can also have natural sources, complicating the identification of anthropogenic influence on soils. Using compound-specific multi-dimensional chlorine and carbon stable isotopic (37Cl/35Cl and 13C/12C) and radiocarbon (?14C) signatures can overcome these difficulties.

Scientific Methodology
A GC - ICP - multi collector MS method to measure 37Cl/35Cl isotopic ratios of CPs will be developed. This method will then be used in combination with state-of-the-art 13C/12C methods to perform multi-dimensional CSIA of CPs at former sawmill field sites. Based on isotopic enrichment factors resulting from the accompanying laboratory degradation experiments, the field data will be evaluated, leading to identification and quantification of CP degradation processes. Radiocarbon analysis of CP derivatives near and remote the contaminated field site will give insights about the importance of their natural production.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Publications

Publication
Direct Compound-Specific Stable Chlorine Isotope Analysis of Organic Compounds with Quadrupole GC/MS Using Standard Isotope Bracketing
Aeppli C, Holmstrand H, Andersson P, Gustafsson O (2009), Direct Compound-Specific Stable Chlorine Isotope Analysis of Organic Compounds with Quadrupole GC/MS Using Standard Isotope Bracketing, in ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY, 82(1), 420-426.

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