Determination of the effect of ionic strength on the adsorption and desorption of 4-nonylphenol from particulates in the environment

Jason Waters '21


4-nonylphenol (4-NP) is a persistent organic pollutant (POP) and endocrine disruptor. It is a breakdown product of nonylphenol polyethoxylates (NPEs), a class of compounds used as surfactants in California’s Central Valley [1]. Once sprayed, 4-NP binds to particulate matter, carried via long-range atmospheric transport, and deposited into the environment [2]. As 4-NP is a known carcinogen and endocrine disruptor in humans and wildlife [3], a model to describe how 4-NP adsorbs and desorbs from particulates in the environment would be extremely helpful to quantify the amount in our water. This will be done by dosing soil samples of varying carbon content with a known concentration of 4-NP and observing how they desorb into water samples of varying ionic strengths.