Prediction of mono- and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon degradation in spiked soils using cyclodextrin extraction

Ian J. Allan, Kirk T. Semple, Rina Hare, Brian J. Reid

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74 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, an aqueous-based hydroxypropyl-ß-cyclodextrin (HPCD) extraction technique was assessed for its capacity to determine the microbially degradable fraction of mono- and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in four dissimilar soils. A linear relationship (slope = 0.90; R2 = 0.89), approaching 1:1 between predicted and observed phenanthrene mineralization, was demonstrated for the cyclodextrin extraction; however, the water only extraction underestimated the microbially available fraction by a factor of three (slope = 3.35; R2 = 0.64). With respect to determining the mineralizable fraction of p-cresol in soils, the cyclodextrin extraction (slope = 0.94; R2 = 0.84) was more appropriate than the water extraction (slope = 1.50; R2 = 0.36). Collectively, these results suggested that the cyclodextrin extraction technique was suitable for the prediction of the mineralizable fraction of representative PAHs and phenols present in dissimilar soils following increasing soil-contaminant contact times. The assessment of the microbial availability of contaminants in soils is important for a more representative evaluation of soil contamination. An aqueous-based HPCD extraction technique was more appropriate than the water extraction in prediction of the mineralizable fraction of phenanthrene and p-cresol present in a range of dissimilar soils.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)562-571
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2006


  • PAHs
  • Phenols
  • Biodegradation
  • HPCD extraction
  • Prediction

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