Volatilization of PCBs From the Great Lakes

by S. J. Eisenreich, Univ of Minnesota, Minneapolis, United States,
D. Achman, Univ of Minnesota, Minneapolis, United States,
K. Hornbuckle, Univ of Minnesota, Minneapolis, United States,
J. E. Baker, Univ of Minnesota, Minneapolis, United States,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Air-Water Mass Transfer

Abstract: The potential volatilization of polychlorobiphenyls (PCBs) and other semi-volatile organic chemicals (SOCs) from Lake Superior and Green Bay, Lake Michigan, is being investigated. The strategy is to simultaneously collect air and water samples above and below the air-water interface, analyze the atmospheric gas phase and the water column dissolved phase for about 70 PCB congeners, and calculate the direction of flux for each congener using Henry's Law, and meterological and hydrological parameters. The magnitude of the flux is calculated using concentration gradients and estimated mass transfer coefficients. Summertime volatilization fluxes for Lake Superior in 1986 ranged from 19 ng/m2d for still-air conditions to 141 ng/m2d for typical wind speeds of 5 m/s. For PCB-contaminated Green Bay, volatilization fluxes were 4 to 6 ng/m2d and 20 to 60 ng/m2d (still air) for the north and south bay regions, respectively. At ambient wind speeds of 3 to 7 m/s, volatilization fluxes were 28 to 38 ng/m2d and 100 to 350 ng/m2d, respectively, for the north and south bay regions. Volatilization of PCBs from both aquatic systems are important loss processes.

Subject Headings: PCB | Volatilization | Lakes | Bays | Mass transfer | Water meters | Water policy | Water sampling | Great Lakes | Lake Superior | Lake Michigan

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