Z. Gerstl

Agricultural Research Organization ARO, Bet Dagan, Central District, Israel

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Publications (54)73.06 Total impact

  • Zev Gerstl
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    ABSTRACT: The use of quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSARs) based on linear free-energy relationships (LFERs), molecular connectivity (MC) indices, and on more sophisticated quantum mechanical approaches, for predicting soil sorption coefficients is reviewed. The nature and energetics of sorption of organic chemicals by soils are also briefly reviewed.On the basis of the data presented we may conclude that from the large body of physicochemical parameters, the n-octanol/water partition coefficient (Kow) has been most successful in modeling sorption data of organic chemicals. From the large set of nonempirical parameters that are defined in terms of a compound's 2- or 3-dimensional structure and can be derived for any chemical without experimental efforts, the MC indices have proven the most reliable and easily available.
    Israel Journal of Chemistry (Online) 03/2010; 42(1):55 - 65. · 2.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Sudden wilt (vine decline) of melon caused by Monosporascus cannonballus is a problem in arid and semiarid regions worldwide. Preplanting soil disinfestation with methyl bromide, a common treatment for disease management, has been banned in many countries, raising the need for alternative disease-control measures. Soil fungicide application during the growing season is one possible treatment. Twelve fungicides were evaluated in vitro for M. cannonballus suppression, seven of those were evaluated under field conditions. The fungicides azoxistrobin, prochloraz and pyraclostrobin + boscalid exhibited high and similar efficacies in controlling sudden wilt disease under field conditions. Fludioxonil applied at high rates was also effective but was phytotoxic. Fluazinam, the first fungicide found capable of suppressing sudden wilt and one which has been used in Israel since 2000, was less effective. The results indicate that two applications of a fungicide during the short fall season should be sufficient for effective control of the disease. In the long spring season, at least three applications are needed to protect the melon crop. Melon fruits were examined for fungicide residues and only boscalid residues were found. This fungicide was therefore limited to the first application before fruit set. KeywordsAzoxystrobin-Melon- Monosporascus cannonballus -Prochloraz
    European Journal of Plant Pathology 01/2010; 128(2):201-209. · 1.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this work was to examine the effect of organic soil amendments (municipal sewage sludge and composted municipal sewage sludge) on transport ideality, sorption equilibrium, and s-triazine (atrazine, simazine, ametryn, and terbuthylazine) retardation compared with nonamended soil. Organic-matter amendment resulted in increased nonequilibrium sorption effects, including early breakthrough, increased breakthrough, and elution front-tailing. Organic amendments likewise caused greater solute retardation compared with transport in nonamended soil columns. As the organic matter content increased, retardation increased and the desorption rate constant decreased. The fraction of fast sorption sites also decreased, resulting in greater sorption non-equilibrium. In a given column, the fraction of fast sorption sites was essentially equal for the different s-triazine compounds. The desorption rate constant decreased as the organic carbon partition coefficient (Koc) increased in the order atrazine > simazine ≥ ametryn > terbuthylazine. Soil amendment with sludge and compost resulted in some nonideal physical transport, which was negligible compared with sorption nonideality effects. The linear sorption isotherm nonequilibrium (LNE) model adequately simulated the measured breakthrough curves. The breakthrough curve for ametryn in an amended, nonrinsed column was identical to that in an amended, rinsed column, indicating that sludge-/soil-derived dissolved organic carbon did not affect ametryn sorption and transport in this system.
    Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 10/2009; 16(12):2463 - 2469. · 2.62 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The assemblages of soil organic matter (SOM) and mineral components present in soils are considerably more heterogeneous than are organoclays and hence the latter cannot directly serve as models for the complex systems that are soils. Yet, comparison between the behavior of soils and of organoclays vis a vis organic sorbates may shed light on the nature of the interaction of organic sorbates with SOM and the architecture of this key environmental sorbent. This presentation provides a comparative examination of recently published data on the effect of sorbent hydration on sorption interactions of selected probe organic compounds with a model organoclay (Na-montmorillonite exchanged with n-hexadecyltrimethylammonium) and model SOM. Effect of the sorbent hydration has been established by comparing the sorption isotherms of a probe organic compound measured on a (dried) sorbent from water and from inert, non-aqueous medium (n-hexadecane). To eliminate differences in compound-bulk solvent interactions, a comparison of sorption isotherms was carried out using the compound activities instead of compound concentrations in a solution phase. A different effect of sorbent hydration on the interactions of organic compounds with organoclays and with SOM is observed. While sorbent hydration may significantly enhance the sorbate's interactions with SOM, in the case of the organoclays it strengthened interactions to a much lesser extent or even weakened them. This difference may be associated with a large number of functional groups present in SOM and the non-covalent, intra- as well as inter-molecular links they form. Such links block sorbate access but are broken in the presence of water. This effect is not present in organoclays which lack functional groups in the quasi-organic layer. This contrast supports the previously proposed idea that the presence and disruption of non-covalent linkages formed between functional groups in the SOM structure as well as a direct involvement of the SOM-sorbed water in the sorption process have an important role in the interactions between organic compounds and SOM.
    04/2009;
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    ABSTRACT: The potential role of mechanochemical processes in enhancing degradation of imazaquin by soil components is demonstrated. The investigated components include montmorillonite saturated with Na(+), Ca(2+), Cu(2+)and Al(3+), Agsorb (a commercial clay mix), birnessite and hematite. The mechanical force applied was manual grinding of mixtures of imazaquin and the minerals, using mortar and pestle. The degradation rates of imazaquin in these mixtures were examined as a function of the following parameters: time of grinding, herbicide load (3.9, 8.9, 16.7 and 26.6 mg imazaquin per g mineral), temperature (10, 25, 40 and 70 degrees C), acidic/basic conditions, and dry or wet grinding. Dry grinding of imazaquin for 5 min with Al-montmorillonite or with hematite resulted in 56% and 71% degradation of the imazaquin, respectively. Wet grinding slightly reduced the degradation rate with hematite and entirely cancelled the enhancing effect of grinding with Al-montmorillonite. Wet grinding in the presence of the transition metals: Ni(2+), Cu(2+), Fe(3+) added as chlorides was carried out. Addition of Cu(2+) to Na-montmorillonite loaded with imazaquin was the most effective treatment in degrading imazaquin (more than 90% of the imazaquin degraded after 5 min of grinding). In this treatment, Cu-montmorillonite formation during the grinding process was confirmed by XRD and accordingly, grinding with Cu-montmorillonite gave similar degradation values. LC-MS analysis revealed that the mechanochemical transformation of imazaquin resulted in the formation of a dimer and several breakdown products. The reported results demonstrate once again that mechanochemical procedures offer a remediation avenue applicable to soils polluted with organic contaminants.
    Chemosphere 02/2009; 75(1):20-7. · 3.14 Impact Factor
  • P. H. Nye, B. Yaron, T. Galin, Z. Gerstl
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    ABSTRACT: Spilled or leaked petroleum products often contaminate groundwater and subsequently evaporate through the soil to the atmosphere by gaseous diffusion. This study developed and tested a model that can predict the rate of diffusion through a dry soil column of the individual components in a liquid mixture when they are of low or intermediate volatility. We derived equations that relate the vapor pressures of the components to their sorption from the gaseous phase by the soil. We also provided for slow sorption. Three cases of increasing complexity were treated: evaporation of a mixture directly into the atmosphere; evaporation of a mixture through a soil column without significant sorption; and finally, evaporation through a highly sorbing soil column, for which a computer program was written. The model has been tested by comparing the evaporation of m-xylene and n-dodecane mixtures through sand, and air-and oven-dry Evesham clay soil (Aquic Eutrochrept or orthic grumsquert) in the laboratory. The equilibrium sorption isotherms and sorption kinetics for these soils and compounds were determined in separate experiments, and other parameters were obtained from the literature, so that the model contained no adjustable fitting parameters. There was fair agreement between the model predictions and the experimental results. 23 refs., 9 figs., 5 tabs.
    Soil Science Society of America Journal - SSSAJ. 01/2009; 58(2):269-277.
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    ABSTRACT: Sorption of nitrobenzene, phenol, and m-nitrophenol from water and n-hexadecane was measured on Na-montmorillonite and organoclays in which 41 and 90% of the exchange capacity of the Na-clay was occupied by hexadecyltrimethylammonium. The strength of sorbate-sorbent interactions in n-hexadecane for all three sorbents was in the following order: nitrobenzene < phenol < m-nitrophenol. The magnitude of the distribution coefficients suggests that the contribution to solute uptake of partitioning between n-hexadecane and the organic pseudophase of the dried organoclays is minor, whereas the major contribution is from adsorptive sorbate-sorbent interactions. Sorption isotherms obtained in different solvents were compared using a sorbate activity scale. In the organoclays, the stronger the tendency of a sorbate to interact with sorption sites, the less pronounced is the reduction in the activity-based sorption due to competition with water. The order of this reduction for the different sorbates is nitrobenzene > phenol > m-nitrophenol. The weakening of sorbate-sorbent interactions resulting from water-sorbate competition might be mitigated by interaction between the organic sorbate and sorbed water molecules. Since the more strongly interacting organic compounds are less susceptible to suppression of sorption in the presence of water, hydrating organoclays may result in an increased differentiation between "weakly" and "strongly" interacting ("nonpolar" and "polar") compounds in the organoclay phase.
    Environmental Science and Technology 10/2008; 42(19):7201-6. · 5.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We tested the possibility of using tree cores to detect unknown subsurface contamination by chlorinated volatile organic compounds (Cl-VOCs) and petroleum hydrocarbons, a method we term "phytoscreening". The scope and limitations of the method include the following: (i) a number of widespread Cl-VOC contaminants are readily found in tree cores, although those with very high vapor pressures or low boiling points may be absent; (ii) volatile petroleum hydrocarbons were notwell-expressed in tree cores; (iii) trees should be sampled during active evapotranspiration and from directions that are well exposed to sunlight; (iv) there is not necessarily a direct correlation between concentrations measured in tree cores and those in the subsurface; (v) detection of a contaminant in a tree core indicates that the subsurface is contaminated with the pollutant; (vi) many possible causes of false negatives may be predicted and avoided. We sampled trees at 13 random locations in the Tel Aviv metropolitan area and identified Cl-VOCs in tree coresfromthree locations. Subsequently, subsurface contamination at all three sites was confirmed. Phytoscreening is a simple, fast, noninvasive, and inexpensive screening method for detecting subsurface contamination, and is particularly useful in urban settings where conventional methods are difficult and expensive to employ.
    Environmental Science and Technology 02/2008; 42(2):536-42. · 5.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The release of alachlor from controlled-release formulations (CRFs) based on alginate-montmorillonite matrices into aqueous polyethylene glycol (PEG) solutions of different concentrations and into a soil at different moisture contents was studied. In distilled water and in PEG-containing solutions displaying -0.1 MPa potential and up, the beads imbibe water and swell. The ensuing increase in weight is about 5%, and the increase in the bead's diameter is about 10%. At water potentials of -0.5 MPa and lower, loss of weight and shrinkage of the beads were observed. The changes in weight and diameter of the alginate-clay beads incubated in a Hamra loamy sand soil at 26.5% moisture content (w/w; -0.18 MPa) were similar to those observed in PEG solutions of >-0.5 MPa moisture potential. The weight and diameter losses observed in the drier soils (12.0 and 7.1% water content; -0.49 and -1.11 MPa) were similar to those in the more concentrated PEG solutions. A decrease in the rate of release of the active ingredient from the beads into soil was observed as the water potential decreased (drier soils). The release of the active ingredient from the investigated CRFs displayed a linear relationship to the square root of time, suggesting a diffusion-controlled-release rate. Data extracted from this relationship enabled the formulation of a mathematical model that correlates rate of release to water content.
    Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 02/2008; 56(4):1322-7. · 2.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The mechanism for the hydrolysis of methyl parathion (MP) by a bifunctional quaternary-ammonium based long-chained organclay(LCOC) containing an alkylamine (-CH2CH2-NH2) headgroup was elucidated. The pathway of the catalytic hydrolysis of methyl parathion by the LCOC was defined by following the effect of replacing H20 with D20, by replacing the primary amino headgroup by a tertiary amino group, and by a detailed mathematical analysis of the proposed reaction scheme. A phosphorothioate isomer of MP was formed in the presence of the LCOC as an intermediate reaction product, initially increasing in concentration and then disappearing. The isotope effect was minimal and substituting a tertiary amine in the LCOC increased the rate of MP hydrolysis. A mechanism is proposed in which hydrolysis of MP can proceed via both a direct route (specific base hydrolysis) and through the formation of the isomer which then undergoes specific base hydrolysis more rapidly than the parent MP. The relative importance of each pathway is a function of pH with the direct hydrolysis of MP being predominant at higher pH values (pH > 10) and the isomer intermediate pathway predominating at lower pH values (pH approximately 8-10).
    Environmental Science and Technology 01/2007; 41(1):106-11. · 5.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The transport of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) in porous media in the presence of dissolved organic matter (DOM) was predicted with a transport bicontinuum model using independently obtained relationships to derive transport parameters for describing the effect of PAH binding to the DOM. The sorption constants of PAHs to soil and their binding constants to DOM were derived from basic correlations with K(ow) (indicator of hydrophobicity). The kinetic (rate) constants were derived from previously published correlations with K(p) (sorption constant). The independently obtained sorption and rate constants were corrected for binding to DOM and were used to predict the breakthrough curves (BTC) of contaminants in the presence and the absence of DOM. Column results confirmed the independently predicted BTC of PAHs in the presence of DOM that did not sorb to the solid phase, as well as the effect of DOM on the rate of the sorption and desorption processes. These findings confirm the ability to quantitatively describe how DOM facilitates transport of contaminants in the subsurface using independently derived parameters.
    Journal of Contaminant Hydrology 12/2004; 75(1-2):55-70. · 2.89 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Organoclays are excellent sorbents for nonionic contaminants and therefore may have many environmental applications. A major limitation on the use of organoclays is that the contaminant merely changes its location from one environmental compartment to another while still remaining intact. In this study, a new type of organoclay, termed a bifunctional organoclay, has been prepared. It is able not only to sorb organophosphate pesticides, but also to catalyze their hydrolysis, and thereby detoxify them. The bifunctional organoclay prepared in this study is based on sodium montmorillonite, in which the inorganic counter ions are replaced by N-decyl-N,N-dimethyl-N-(2-aminoethyl) ammonium (DDMAEA). The detoxifying capacity of this organoclay for two organophosphate pesticides, methyl parathion [O,O-dimethyl O-(p-nitrophenyl) thionophosphate] and tetrachlorvinphos [2-chloro-1-(2,4,5-trichlorophenyl)ethenyl dimethyl phosphate], was demonstrated. It was shown that although the sorption of these pesticides on the bifunctional organoclay is very similar to that on N-decyl-N,N,N-trimethyl ammonium (DTMA) organoclay (the corresponding nonbifunctional organoclay), the hydrolysis of these pesticides is substantially enhanced only by the bifunctional organoclay. The half-life for the hydrolysis of the investigated pesticides in the presence of the bifunctional organoclay is about 12 times less than for their spontaneous hydrolysis, and the enhancement is even more pronounced relative to the hydrolysis of these pesticides in the presence of the DTMA organoclay (which actually inhibits their hydrolysis). Based on kinetic measurements, the pK(a) of the ethylamino group of the bifunctional organoclay was estimated to be around 9.0. It is postulated that the catalytic effect of the bifunctional organoclay can be attributed to a nucleophilic attack of the unprotonated ethylamino group of the organoclay on the organophosphate ester.
    Journal of Environmental Quality 01/2004; 33(5):1930-6. · 2.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: It is generally assumed that short-chain organoclays are better sorbents for non-ionic organic compounds than are the long-chain organoclays. We believe that the above statement is correct only for relatively hydrophilic or slightly hydrophobic compounds and that the opposite should be true for highly hydrophobic compounds, namely, that long-chain organoclays are expected to be superior to the short-chain analogs for sorption of highly hydrophobic materials.To verify our hypothesis, the sorption of six compounds with a range of log Kow values from 2.5 to 6 was studied on tetramethyltriammonium-(TMA) and octadecyltrimethylammonium-(ODTMA) bentonite, representing short- and long-chain organoclays, respectively. Compounds with low or medium hydrophobicities (log Kow 2.5–3.8) were more strongly sorbed on the short-chain organoclay, whereas the more hydrophobic compounds (log Kow 5.2–6.1) were better sorbed on the long-chain organoclay, in agreement with our hypothesis.The efficacy of organoclays in removing organic pollutants from the effluent of a pesticide producing plant was evaluated. Pesticide sorption from the wastewater was studied on both types of organoclays. It was found that both organoclays were able to remove organic pollutants from industrial wastewater, but solute uptake by short-chain organoclays was strongly depressed by competition, while long-chain organoclays were only slightly affected, if at all, by the presence of competing solutes in the industrial wastewater.
    Applied Clay Science. 01/2004;
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    ABSTRACT: Petroleum products are generally volatile hydrocarbon mixtures. These mixtures may contaminate land surfaces, the unsaturated zone and ground waters at numerous sites and thus represent a long-term source of environmental subsurface pollution. Based on laboratory and field evidence obtained by our research groups and others we emphasize in the present review paper the effect of leaching on the abiotic processes controlling the fate of volatile petroleum hydrocarbon mixtures (VPHMs) in the soil environment. The modification of petroleum hydrocarbon mixtures due to changes in the soil water content is considered the result of a "leaching phenomenon". The experimental evidence of VPHM behavior in the porous media is linked to four major processes: retention, redistribution and attenuation in the subsurface, and dissolution in the soil water. Once VPHMs reach the soil surface, their residual concentration and composition is influenced by the amount and quality of the leaching water. The transport and natural attenuation of the VPHMs in the unsaturated zone is affected by the amount and rate of leaching. Since VPHM are a mixture of volatile and non-volatile hydrocarbons whose components differ by several orders of magnitude in their vapor pressure and water solubility, their fates in the soil environment under leaching will be diverse too. This will influence the temporal concentrations of the VPHM components and their distributions with depth, as vapors, solutes, or water-immiscible solutions. Wetting the soil before or after the VPHMs reach it, differentially affects the abiotic processes governing petroleum products behavior into the porous media.
    Chemosphere 01/2003; 49(10):1375-88. · 3.14 Impact Factor
  • ICWRER, Dresden; 07/2002
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    ABSTRACT: The soil sorption coefficient Kd and the soil organic carbon sorption coefficient KOC of pesticides are basic parameters used by environmental scientists and regulatory agencies worldwide in describing the environmental fate and behavior of pesticides. They are a measure of the strength of sorption of pesticides to soils and other geosorbent surfaces at the water/solid interface, and are thus directly related to both environmental mobility and persistence. KOC is regarded as a 'universal' parameter related to the hydrophobicity of the pesticide molecule, which applies to a given pesticide in all soils. This assumption is known to be inexact, but it is used in this way in modeling and estimating risk for pesticide leaching and runoff. In this report we examine the theory, uses, measurement or estimation, limitations and reliability of these parameters and provide some 'rules of thumb' for the use of these parameters in describing the behavior and fate of pesticides in the environment, especially in analysis by modeling.
    Pest Management Science 06/2002; 58(5):419-45. · 2.74 Impact Factor
  • Zev Gerstl, Bruno Yaron
    Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry - J AGR FOOD CHEM. 04/2002; 26(3).
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    ABSTRACT: Ground water pollution due to herbicide leaching has become a serious environmental problem. Imazaquin [2-(4-isopropyl-4-methyl-5-oxo-2-imidazolin-2-yl)quinoline-3-carboxylic acid] is an herbicide used to control broadleaf weeds in legume crops. Imazaquin is negatively charged at the basic pH of calcareous soils and exhibits high leaching potential in soils. Our aim was to design formulation of imazaquin to reduce herbicide leaching. Imazaquin sorption on pillared clay (PC) and crystal violet (CV)-montmorillonite complexes was studied. The CV-montmorillonite complexes become positively charged with adsorption of CV above the cation exchange capacity (CEC) of montmorillonite, and thus can sorb imazaquin. The Langmuir equation provides a good fit to isotherms of imazaquin sorption on PC and CV-montmorillonite complexes, but for charged complexes an equation that combines electrostatics with specific binding was preferred. Maximal imazaquin sorption was 17.3 mmol kg-1 for PC and 22.2 mmol kg-1 for CV-montmorillonite complexes. The extents of imazaquin desorption into water were 21% for PC and 5% for CV-clay complexes. The presence of anions decreased imazaquin sorption on both sorbents in the sequence phosphate > acetate > sulfate. Reduction of imazaquin sorption by the anions and the extent of its desorption in electrolyte solutions were higher for PC than for CV-clay complexes. Leaching of imazaquin from CV-montmorillonite formulations through soil (Rhodoxeralf) columns was two times less than from PC formulations and four times less than that of technical imazaquin. The CV-montmorillonite complexes at a loading above the CEC appear to be suitable for preparation of organo-clay-imazaquin formulations that may reduce herbicide leaching significantly.
    Journal of Environmental Quality 01/2002; 31(5):1657-64. · 2.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Aqueous sorption of phenol, atrazine and naphthalene was measured on complexes formed from Na-montmorillonite (Fischer bentonite) and the organic cationic dyes crystal violet and rhodamine-B. Sorption isotherms were found to be non-linear. This agrees well with the rigid nature of the dye-clay organic coverage, which provides a finite surface for adsorption. High values of organic carbon-normalized distribution coefficients reached 20,000-25,000 for atrazine on rhodamine-B-montmorillonite, 7000 for atrazine on crystal violet-montmorillonite, and 1500 for phenol on crystal violet-montmorillonite. As such, dye-clays may significantly extend the variety of organoclay sorbents that effectively reduce aqueous concentrations of non-ionic organic compounds.
    Chemosphere 09/2001; 44(5):1033-40. · 3.14 Impact Factor
  • I Dror, Z Gerstl, B Yaron
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    ABSTRACT: A field experiment was designed to determine the combined effect of leaching and natural attenuation on the redistribution dynamics of kerosene--a volatile petroleum hydrocarbon mixture (VPHM)--and of its selected individual components in the soil subsurface. Variables included the composition of contaminant spilled, the soil water content before contamination and the leaching pattern. Temporal changes in the residual kerosene concentration and composition in the soil subsurface of the experimental field during 39 days and leaching by 500 mm of irrigation water were determined to a depth of 100 cm. The main processes controlling contaminant attenuation were volatilization and redistribution with depth. Soil hydration status was found to affect the attenuation, redistribution and composition of VPHM in the porous media. An initial relative increase of n-alkanes in the subsurface compared with the total VPHM in the first leaching period was a result of the volatilization of low vapor pressure compounds. The redistribution of individual components in the soil profile during leaching was in accordance with their physico-chemical properties.
    Journal of Contaminant Hydrology 05/2001; 48(3-4):305-23. · 2.89 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

512 Citations
73.06 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1979–2010
    • Agricultural Research Organization ARO
      • Institute of Soil, Water and Environmental Sciences
      Bet Dagan, Central District, Israel
  • 2003
    • Weizmann Institute of Science
      • Department of Environmental Sciences and Energy Research
      Israel