Solubilization of hydrocarbons by the dissolved organic matter in sea water
Date of Original Version
Water samples from Narragansett Bay and the Providence River, and fulvic acid/ saline water solutions were examined for their ability to solubilize n-alkane (n-C16 and n-C20), isoprenoid (pristane) and aromatic (phenanthrene and anthracene) hydrocarbons and dibutyl phthalate. Removal of the dissolved organic matter (D.O.M.) from the natural samples by activated charcoal and by ultra-violet oxidation resulted in a 50-99 per cent decrease in the amounts of n-alkanes and isoprenoid hydrocarbons solubilized. This decrease was directly related to the amount of D.O.M. removed. The solubilities of the aromatic hydrocarbons were unaffected by the D.O.M. Fulvic acid from a marine sediment, surface active organic material isolated at a chloroform/sea water interface, organic material extracted from a marine sediment by sea water, and organic matter contributed by a municipal sewage effluent, promote n-alkane solubility when added to NaCl solutions and re-enhance solubility when added to organic depleted sea water. The solubility of No. 2 fuel oil increased 2.5 times in the presence of fulvic acid (3.7 mg C/l.) with most of the increase seen in the alkane and isoprenoid components. N-Alkane solubility increases in fulvic acid/saline water solutions with increasing pH and reaches a maximum with respect to ionic strength at I = 0.3. There is evidence to suggest that the mode of solubilization of the hydrocarbons is by incorporation into micelles formed by intermolecular association of the surface active humic-type monomers. The presence of ionic species is a prerequisite for micelle formation. © 1973.
Publication Title, e.g., Journal
Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Boehm, Paul D., and James G. Quinn. "Solubilization of hydrocarbons by the dissolved organic matter in sea water." Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 37, 11 (1973). doi: 10.1016/0016-7037(73)90292-5.