Allocating the Sources of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) in Surficial Sediments from the Washington, DC Region with Particular Emphasis on Coal Tar Sealcoat




Nadrchal, David

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Various sources of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were analyzed that potentially influenced contamination levels in sediments from the Anacostia River in Washington, DC and surrounding area. Sources of PAHs allocated in this study included coal tar sealcoat, asphalt, rubber tire, gasoline soot, diesel soot, and coal power fly ash. Extraction of sources and sediments was accomplished by microwave assisted extraction (MAE) and analyzed on gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Two methods were conducted to identify major sources of PAHs. The first used isomer ratios, unique ratios exhibited by studied sources helped identify major contributors of PAH contamination in sediments. The other method used was a chemical mass balance model developed by the U.S. EPA, CMB 8.2. This method apportioned major sources of PAHs. The findings from the methods showed that the major contributors of PAH contamination in area sediments were from gasoline soot, coal tar sealcoats, and coking emissions.



PAHs, Sediments, CMB, Primary sources, Anacostia River