Final Report: Time Dependent Movement of Dioxin and Related Compounds in Soil

EPA Grant Number: R825549C032
Subproject: this is subproject number 032 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant R825549
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: HSRC (1989) - Great Plains/Rocky Mountain HSRC
Center Director: Erickson, Larry E.
Title: Time Dependent Movement of Dioxin and Related Compounds in Soil
Investigators: Yanders, Armon F. , Kapila, Shubhender , Puri, Ravi
Institution: University of Missouri - Columbia
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Project Period: February 1, 1989 through September 1, 1991
Project Amount: Refer to main center abstract for funding details.
RFA: Hazardous Substance Research Centers - HSRC (1989) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Organic Chemical Contamination of Soil/Water , Land and Waste Management


The primary objective of the study is to determine the rate of migration and loss of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and related compounds under varied contamination scenarios, such as the accidental surface contamination which occurred at Times Beach, and the effects of co-contaminants in the contamination of saturated deep soil zones over long periods of times at wood treatment facilities.

Summary/Accomplishments (Outputs/Outcomes):

Dioxin Studies at Times Beach

The rate of migration and loss of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) and related compounds were studied under natural conditions in experimental plots and soil columns at the Dioxin Research Facility, Times Beach, Missouri. The facility was established by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources in collaboration with the Environmental Trace Substances Research Center, Universitv of Missouri.

Experimental Plots

A comprehensive sampling program was conducted immediately after the plots were filled with contaminated soil in 1984. Five core samples were taken from each bin, with half of each sample being archived and held at -40°C since that time. These frozen core samples were compared with core samples taken from similar positions in the same plots to determine if there were measurable differences in the amount of TCDD or its location in the cores taken several Years apart.

The results for samples taken in the summer of 1989 and 1990 were compared with archived samples taken in 1984. It is clear that, although the TCDD concentrations are different for different experimental plots, the values obtained are well within experimental error for different depths in the same core, and for values from cores taken in the same plots in 1984 vs. 1989 and 1990. There is no consistent indication of either movement or loss, even in the uppermost soil sections, which, in non-covered bins, received the greatest warming by sunlight. Whether or not a plot was covered seems to have had little if any effect on the concentration levels observed.

Soil Columns

Soil column studies have been conducted at the Times Beach Research Facility in which the TCDD concentration varied from 50 ppb - 160 ppm, a range of 3 x 103. The rate of TCDD loss from the soil was monitored as a function of time. The results obtained so far during the 1 5-month study period demonstrate that, at all concentrations, the total loss through such sink processes as volatilization, photolysis and biodegradation is less than 10%, which is the precision limit of the analytical methodology. This confirms our work on the plots (above) in showing that dioxin is extremely stable in soil, and that its half-life in such environments is probably several decades or more.

The Effect of Co-contaminants

Laboratory experiments have shown a slight but measurable increase in the aqueous concentration of PCDD and PCDF in the presence of PCP and naphthalene. The increase in aqueous concentration was most noticeable in the case of lower chlorinated analyses and appeared to be related to the concentration of pentachlorophenol and/or naphthalene in the system. This can be attributed to adsorptive displacement of PCDD and PCDF by naphthalene and PCP. However, after longer equilibration periods, the aqueous concentration of these contaminants decreased. This decrease can be attributed to irreversible adsorption kinetics of all test compounds and, to a limited degree, to the degradation of co-contaminants in the non-sterile experimental setup, which was employed during the present study. The decay followed pseudo first-order kinetics, with a half-life ranging from 24 hrs to 5 days. As expected, an increase in the pentachlorophenol concentration was observed under alkaline conditions. However, this did not result in any measurable increase of the aqueous concentration of PCDDs or PCDFs.

Our studies show that the partition behavior of PCDD and PCDF is affected by the presence of co-contaminants such as pentachlorophenol and naphthalenes, but the effect is relatively minor compared to the effect of ionic surfactants and emulsions resulting from the presence of hydrocarbon solvents. This leads us to conclude that the transport of dioxins and furans from a vadose zone into groundwater that is observed at wood treatment facilities such as Visalia, CA, is the result of a combination of factors, the most prominent of which is the movement of colloidal suspensions. Other contributing factors include particle-bound erosion and the presence of more polar, liquid or surfactant types of compounds. Phenols, cresols and liquid hydrocarbons may act as agents in increasing the movement of dioxins and furans.

The results have been presented at professional meetings and communicated to interested parties.

Journal Articles on this Report : 3 Displayed | Download in RIS Format

Other subproject views: All 13 publications 3 publications in selected types All 3 journal articles
Other center views: All 904 publications 230 publications in selected types All 182 journal articles
Type Citation Sub Project Document Sources
Journal Article Kapila S, Puri RK, Yanders AF, Cerlesi S, Elseewi AA. The effect of co-pollutant degradation on partitioning of polychlorinated dioxins in saturated soils. Organhaolgen Compounds 1990;3:327-330. R825549C032 (Final)
not available
Journal Article Puri RK, Kapila S, Lo YH, Orzio C, Clevenger TE, Yanders AF. Effects of cocontaminants on the disposition of polychlorinated dibenzo-para-dioxins and polychlorinated dibenzofurans in saturated soils. Chemosphere 1990;20(10-12):1589-1596. R825549C032 (Final)
not available
Journal Article Yanders AF, Kapila S, Puri RK, Orzaio CE. Persistence of chlorinated dioxins and furous in the soil environment. Chemosphere 1992;25(7-10):1469-1474. R825549C032 (Final)
not available

Supplemental Keywords:

dioxin, migration, adsorption, leachability, RFA, Scientific Discipline, Water, Waste, Geographic Area, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Contaminated Sediments, Remediation, Environmental Chemistry, Geochemistry, Chemistry, Fate & Transport, Analytical Chemistry, Hazardous Waste, Ecology and Ecosystems, Hazardous, EPA Region, sediment treatment, fate and transport, dioxin, contaminant transport, soil and groundwater remediation, wood treatment facilites, fate and transport , wood treatment facilities, mathmatical modeling, contaminated sediment, pesticides, contaminated soil, bioremediation of soils, groundwater remediation, chemical kinetics, Region 7, Region 8, contaminated groundwater, pesticide runoff, hazardous wate, pesticide residue, nitrate, heavy metal contamination, phytoremediation, dissoloved oxygen, bioremediation

Relevant Websites: Exit

Progress and Final Reports:

Original Abstract
  • 1989
  • 1990

  • Main Center Abstract and Reports:

    R825549    HSRC (1989) - Great Plains/Rocky Mountain HSRC

    Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
    R825549C006 Fate of Trichloroethylene (TCE) in Plant/Soil Systems
    R825549C007 Experimental Study of Stabilization/Solidification of Hazardous Wastes
    R825549C008 Modeling Dissolved Oxygen, Nitrate and Pesticide Contamination in the Subsurface Environment
    R825549C009 Vadose Zone Decontamination by Air Venting
    R825549C010 Thermochemical Treatment of Hazardous Wastes
    R825549C011 Development, Characterization and Evaluation of Adsorbent Regeneration Processes for Treament of Hazardous Waste
    R825549C012 Computer Method to Estimate Safe Level Water Quality Concentrations for Organic Chemicals
    R825549C013 Removal of Nitrogenous Pesticides from Rural Well-Water Supplies by Enzymatic Ozonation Process
    R825549C014 The Characterization and Treatment of Hazardous Materials from Metal/Mineral Processing Wastes
    R825549C015 Adsorption of Hazardous Substances onto Soil Constituents
    R825549C016 Reclamation of Metal and Mining Contaminated Superfund Sites using Sewage Sludge/Fly Ash Amendment
    R825549C017 Metal Recovery and Reuse Using an Integrated Vermiculite Ion Exchange - Acid Recovery System
    R825549C018 Removal of Heavy Metals from Hazardous Wastes by Protein Complexation for their Ultimate Recovery and Reuse
    R825549C019 Development of In-situ Biodegradation Technology
    R825549C020 Migration and Biodegradation of Pentachlorophenol in Soil Environment
    R825549C021 Deep-Rooted Poplar Trees as an Innovative Treatment Technology for Pesticide and Toxic Organics Removal from Soil and Groundwater
    R825549C022 In-situ Soil and Aquifer Decontaminaiton using Hydrogen Peroxide and Fenton's Reagent
    R825549C023 Simulation of Three-Dimensional Transport of Hazardous Chemicals in Heterogeneous Soil Cores Using X-ray Computed Tomography
    R825549C024 The Response of Natural Groundwater Bacteria to Groundwater Contamination by Gasoline in a Karst Region
    R825549C025 An Electrochemical Method for Acid Mine Drainage Remediation and Metals Recovery
    R825549C026 Sulfide Size and Morphology Identificaiton for Remediation of Acid Producing Mine Wastes
    R825549C027 Heavy Metals Removal from Dilute Aqueous Solutions using Biopolymers
    R825549C028 Neutron Activation Analysis for Heavy Metal Contaminants in the Environment
    R825549C029 Reducing Heavy Metal Availability to Perennial Grasses and Row-Crops Grown on Contaminated Soils and Mine Spoils
    R825549C030 Alachlor and Atrazine Losses from Runoff and Erosion in the Blue River Basin
    R825549C031 Biodetoxification of Mixed Solid and Hazardous Wastes by Staged Anaerobic Fermentation Conducted at Separate Redox and pH Environments
    R825549C032 Time Dependent Movement of Dioxin and Related Compounds in Soil
    R825549C033 Impact of Soil Microflora on Revegetation Efforts in Southeast Kansas
    R825549C034 Modeling the use of Plants in Remediation of Soil and Groundwater Contaminated by Hazardous Organic Substances
    R825549C035 Development of Electrochemical Processes for Improved Treatment of Lead Wastes
    R825549C036 Innovative Treatment and Bank Stabilization of Metals-Contaminated Soils and Tailings along Whitewood Creek, South Dakota
    R825549C037 Formation and Transformation of Pesticide Degradation Products Under Various Electron Acceptor Conditions
    R825549C038 The Effect of Redox Conditions on Transformations of Carbon Tetrachloride
    R825549C039 Remediation of Soil Contaminated with an Organic Phase
    R825549C040 Intelligent Process Design and Control for the Minimization of Waste Production and Treatment of Hazardous Waste
    R825549C041 Heavy Metals Removal from Contaminated Water Solutions
    R825549C042 Metals Soil Pollution and Vegetative Remediation
    R825549C043 Fate and Transport of Munitions Residues in Contaminated Soil
    R825549C044 The Role of Metallic Iron in the Biotransformation of Chlorinated Xenobiotics
    R825549C045 Use of Vegetation to Enhance Bioremediation of Surface Soils Contaminated with Pesticide Wastes
    R825549C046 Fate and Transport of Heavy Metals and Radionuclides in Soil: The Impacts of Vegetation
    R825549C047 Vegetative Interceptor Zones for Containment of Heavy Metal Pollutants
    R825549C048 Acid-Producing Metalliferous Waste Reclamation by Material Reprocessing and Vegetative Stabilization
    R825549C049 Laboratory and Field Evaluation of Upward Mobilization and Photodegradation of Polychlorinated Dibenzo-P-Dioxins and Furans in Soil
    R825549C050 Evaluation of Biosparging Performance and Process Fundamentals for Site Remediation
    R825549C051 Field Scale Bioremediation: Relationship of Parent Compound Disappearance to Humification, Mineralization, Leaching, Volatilization of Transformaiton Intermediates
    R825549C052 Chelating Extraction of Heavy Metals from Contaminated Soils
    R825549C053 Application of Anaerobic and Multiple-Electron-Acceptor Bioremediation to Chlorinated Aliphatic Subsurface Contamination
    R825549C054 Application of PGNAA Remote Sensing Methods to Real-Time, Non-Intrusive Determination of Contaminant Profiles in Soils
    R825549C055 Design and Development of an Innovative Industrial Scale Process to Economically Treat Waste Zinc Residues
    R825549C056 Remediation of Soils Contaminated with Wood-Treatment Chemicals (PCP and Creosote)
    R825549C057 Effects of Surfactants on the Bioavailability and Biodegradation of Contaminants in Soils
    R825549C058 Contaminant Binding to the Humin Fraction of Soil Organic Matter
    R825549C059 Identifying Ground-Water Threats from Improperly Abandoned Boreholes
    R825549C060 Uptake of BTEX Compounds by Hybrid Poplar Trees in Hazardous Waste Remediation
    R825549C061 Biofilm Barriers for Waste Containment
    R825549C062 Plant Assisted Remediation of Soil and Groundwater Contaminated by Hazardous Organic Substances: Experimental and Modeling Studies
    R825549C063 Extension of Laboratory Validated Treatment and Remediation Technologies to Field Problems in Aquifer Soil and Water Contamination by Organic Waste Chemicals