Particle phase distribution of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in stormwater - Using humic acid and iron nano-sized colloids as test particles
Journal article, 2015

The distribution of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in different particulate fractions in stormwater: Total, Particulate, Filtrated, Colloidal and Dissolved fractions, were examined and compared to synthetic suspensions of humic acid colloids and iron nano-sized particles. The distribution of low-molecular weight PAHs (LMW PAHs), middle-molecular weight PAHs (MMW PAHs) and high-molecular weight PAHs (HMW PAHs) among the fractions was also evaluated. The results from the synthetic suspensions showed that the highest concentrations of the PAHs were found in the Filtrated fractions and, surprisingly, high loads were found in the Dissolved fractions. The PAHs identified in stormwater in the Particulate fractions and Dissolved fractions follow their hydrophobic properties. In most samples > 50% of the HMW PAHs were found in the Particulate fractions, while the LMW and MMW PAHs were found to a higher extent in the Filtrated fractions. The highest concentrations of PAHs were present in the stormwater with the highest total suspended solids (TSS); the relative amount of the HMW PAHs was highest in the Particulate fractions (particles > 0.7. μm). The highest concentration of PAHs in the Colloidal fraction was found in the sample with occurrence of small nano-sized particles (< 10. nm). The results show the importance of developing technologies that both can manage particulate matter and effectively remove PAHs present in the Colloidal and Dissolved fractions in stormwater.

Solid phase extraction

Liquid-liquid extraction

Urban stormwater

Colloid enhanced transport

Particle sorption


K. Nielsen

Technical University of Denmark (DTU)

Yuliya Kalmykova

Chalmers, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Water Environment Technology

Ann-Margret Hvitt Strömvall

FRIST competence centre

Chalmers, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Water Environment Technology

A. Baun

Technical University of Denmark (DTU)

E. Eriksson

Technical University of Denmark (DTU)

Science of the Total Environment

0048-9697 (ISSN)

Vol. 532 103-111

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Areas of Advance

Building Futures (2010-2018)

Subject Categories

Water Engineering



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