The impact of recalcitrant organic compounds on soil hydrophobicity was evaluated in contaminated soil from a manufactured gas plant site following 12 months of phytoremediation. Significant reduction in soil wetting and water retention was observed in contaminated soil compared to an uncontaminated control. Phytoremediation was effective at reducing total PAHs by 69% with corresponding changes in soil classification from extremely hydrophobic (initial sample) to moderately-strongly hydrophobic (planted) and hydrophilic-very hydrophilic (unplanted) after 12 months. The greatest reduction in soil hydrophobicity was observed in the unplanted, unfertilized treatments that had the lowest removal rate of PAHs. The presence of plants may contribute to hydrophobicity in contaminated soil.
- Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
- Soil wetting
- Water retention
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis