Kinetics of mineralization of organic compounds at low concentrations in soil.
Scow, K M
The kinetics of mineralization of 14C-labeled phenol and aniline were measured at initial concentrations ranging from 0.32 to 5,000 ng and 0.30 ng to 500 micrograms/g of soil, respectively. Mineralization of phenol at concentrations less than or equal to 32 ng/g of soil and of aniline at all concentrations began immediately, and the curves for the evolution of labeled CO2 were biphasic. The patterns of mineralization of 4.0 ng of 2,4-dichlorophenol per g of soil and 20 ng of nitrilotriacetic acid per g of soil were similar to the patterns for phenol and aniline. The patterns of mineralization of 1.0 to 100 ng of p-nitrophenol and 6.0 ng of benzylamine per g of soil were also biphasic but after a short apparent lag period. The curves of CO2 evolution from higher concentrations of phenol and p-nitrophenol had increasing apparent lag phases and were S-shaped or linear. Cumulative plots of the percentage of substrate converted to CO2 were fit by nonlinear regression to first-order, integrated Monod, logistic, logarithmic, zero-order, three-half-order, and two-compartment models. None of the models of the Monod family provided the curve of best fit to any of the patterns of mineralization. The linear growth form of the three-half-order model provided the best fit for the mineralization of p-nitrophenol, with the exception of the lowest concentrations, and of benzylamine. The two-compartment model provided the best fit for the mineralization of concentrations of phenol below 100 ng/g, of several concentrations of aniline, and of nitrilotriacetic acid. It is concluded that models derived from the Monod equation, including the first-order model, do not adequately describe the kinetics of mineralization of low concentrations of chemicals added to soil.
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