Pyrene and phenanthrene sorption to model and natural geosorbents in single- and binary-solute systems.
ABSTRACT Sorption of pyrene and phenanthrene to model (illite and charcoal) and natural (Yangtze sediment) geosorbents were investigated by batch techniques using fluorescence spectroscopy. A higher adsorption of phenanthrene was observed with all sorbents, which is related to the better accessibility of smaller molecules to micropores in the molecular sieve sorbents. In addition, pyrene sorption in binary-solute systems with a constant initial concentration of phenanthrene (0.1 μmol L(-1) or 2 μmol L(-1)) was studied. A 0.1 μmol L(-1) concentration of phenanthrene causes no competitive effect on the pyrene sorption. A 2 μmol L(-1) concentration of phenanthrene significantly suppresses the sorption of pyrene, especially in the low concentration range; nonlinearity of the pyrene sorption isotherms thus decreases. The competitive effect of 2 μmol L(-1) phenanthrene on the pyrene sorption is overestimated by the ideal adsorbed solution theory (IAST) using the fitted single sorption results of both solutes. An adjustment of the IAST application by taking into account the molecular sieve effect is proposed, which notably improves the IAST prediction for the competitive effect.