Ice phase as an important factor on the seasonal variation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the Tumen River, Northeastern of China

Linlin Cong, Yingyu Fang, Miao He, Xinshun Wang, Narayanan Kannan, Donghao Li
Environmental Science and Pollution Research International 2010, 17 (7): 1379-87

BACKGROUND, AIM AND SCOPE: The climatic characteristic is a major parameter affecting on the distribution variation of organic pollutants such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The Tumen River is located in Northeastern of China. The winter era lasts for more than 5 months in a year, and the river water was frozen and covered by ice phase. Coal combustion is an essential heating source in the Tumen River Basin. The objective of this research is to study ice phase effect on the seasonal variation of PAHs in the Tumen River environment.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Samples were collected from 13 sites along the River in March, July, October, and December of 2008. In addition, the ice sample, under ice water and air particulate were also collected in winter. The samples were analyzed for 16 PAHs (naphthalene, acenaphthylene, acenaphthene, fluorene, phenanthrene, anthracene, fluoranthene, pyrene, beazo[a]anthene, chrysene, beazo[b]fluoranthene, benzo[k]fluoranthene, benzo[a]pyrene, indeno(1,2,3-cd)pyrene, dibenz(a,h)anthracene, and benzo(ghi)perylene). The compounds were extracted from the water samples and solid samples using LLE and Soxhlet extraction technique, respectively, and it is determined by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: Among 16 PAHs, fluorene, phenanthrene, and pyrene were found to be present in high concentrations and at high detection frequencies. The total concentration of PAHs in the water, particulate, sediment and ice phase ranged from 35.1-1.05 x 10(3) ng L(-1), 25.4-817 ng L(-1), 117-562 ng g(-1)and 62.8-136 ng g(-1), respectively. The levels of PAHs were generally higher in spring than other seasons. The ice phase in winter acts like a major reservoir of the pollutants and it is major contributor on the seasonal variation of PAHs in Tumen River. The PAHs found in water, particulate, and sediment in the Tumen River were possibly derived from similar pollution sources a proposition based on the compositions and isomer ratios of PAHs.

CONCLUSIONS: The distribution of PAHs was showed clear seasonal variation in the Tumen River environment, the ice phase and air pollution look like an important factor affecting on the seasonal variation.

RECOMMENDATIONS AND PERSPECTIVES: The ice phase as an important factor affecting on the seasonal variation of PAHs in Tumen River environment. Further studies regarding the effects of air pollution on the river and the mechanisms of migration and transformation of them in the environment are currently being conducted in our laboratory.

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