Development of a simple selective SFE method for the determination of desorption behaviour of PCBs in two Swedish sediments.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


A simple selective supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) method was developed for the determination of desorption behaviour of PCBs in sediments. This method was applied to determine the distribution of individual PCB congeners among sites of differing bonding strengths in two Swedish sediments (Lake Järnsjön and Baltic bay Orserumsviken). Four different PCB fractions were distinguished in each sediment by applying consecutively harsher supercritical fluid extraction conditions on the same sample. Even though the two sediments had completely different textures, they showed very similar extraction behaviour. It was shown that, in both sediments, a major part of the PCBs (58% and 65%, respectively) were located at "fast sites", from which they were extractable already with the mildest extraction conditions (60 min, 40 degrees C and 120 bar). Only a small fraction of the PCBs were so tightly bound to the sediments (located at "slow sites"), that they could be extracted only under the harshest conditions (60 min, 150 degrees C and 400 bar). Information of this kind should be of great value for the determination of bioavailability of pollutants in sediments and soils, and it is the author's belief that this technique has the potential to develop into a powerful tool in environmental risk assessment.


  • Tobias Nilsson
  • Søren Bøwadt
  • Erland Björklund
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Environmental Sciences


  • Analytical/*methods, Geologic Sediments/*chemistry, Polychlorinated Biphenyls/*analysis, Water Pollutants, Sweden, Chemical/analysis, Chemistry
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)469-476
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Analytical Chemistry (S/LTH) (011001004)