Selective supercritical fluid extraction as a tool for determining the PCB fraction accessible for uptake by chironomid larve in a limnic sediment
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Selective supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) at 40 degrees C, 400 bar and 60 min was used to selectively remove bioavailable PCBs from a naturally contaminated limnic sediment. The extraction decreased the sediment concentrations of the nine studied PCBs by 54% (on average). Chironomid larvae were thereafter cultured in pre-extracted sediment as well as in untreated sediment to study the differences in uptake of PCBs in the two cultures. While the prevailing equilibrium partitioning (EqP) theory predicts a 54% decrease in PCB uptake by the_chironomids in the pre-extracted sediment, with a maintained biota-to-sediment accumulation factor (BSAF), a decrease in PCB uptake by 91% was observed. For all investigated PCBs the BSAFs were on average 81% lower in the cultures with pre-extracted sediment than in the untreated systems. The data allowed for a calculation of the bioavailable fraction, which was estimated to 60%. This is very close to the 54% removed by selective SFE, demonstrating the possibility of using SFE as a tool to determine the bioavailable PCB fraction in a polluted sediment. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.