Comparison of adsorption behaviors of selected endocrine-disrupting compounds in soil

Fritzie Rivas Chen, Benny Chefetz, Michael L. Thompson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Bisphenol-A (BPA), 17α-ethinylestradiol (EE2), and 4-nonylphenol (4NP) are endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) that are useful models for studying the potential fate and transport of EDCs in soil and water environments. Two alluvial soils with contrasting physicochemical properties were used as adsorbents for this study. The Zook soil material had more organic matter and clay than the sandy loam Hanlon soil material. Batch equilibrium experiments were performed to generate adsorption isotherms, to determine the adsorption parameters, and to assess desorption hysteresis. Adsorption of BPA to both soils followed an L-type isotherm, and 4NP adsorbed to both Hanlon and Zook soils exhibited S-shape isotherms. EE2 adsorbed to the Zook soil also followed an S-shaped isotherm, but EE2 adsorbed to the Hanlon soil showed an H-type isotherm. Overall, the Sips model fit the data well, with standard errors of prediction generally ≤6%. The adsorption affinity (KLF) values were highest for 4NP, and BPA had the lowest hysteresis indices. The data suggest that BPA was most likely adsorbed by soil organic matter via hydrogen bonding involving its two phenolic groups. In contrast, isotherm shape, model affinity indices, lack of desorption, and molecular-scale characteristics led us to infer that 4NP was adsorbed largely by the retention of molecular clusters, perhaps in clay nanopores. Finally, the adsorption of EE2 exhibited different isotherm shapes for the two soils as well as intermediate affinity and desorption indices, suggesting that EE2 molecules could be retained both by soil organic matter and by clay.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)756-767
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Environmental Quality
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 May 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors. Journal of Environmental Quality © 2021 American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America


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