Impacts of the physiochemical properties of chlorinated solvents on the sorption of trichloroethylene to the roots of Typha latifolia.
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Sorption to plant roots is the first step for organic contaminants to enter plant tissues. Mounting evidence is showing that sorption to plant roots is nonlinear and competitive. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of physiochemical properties of homologous chlorinated ethenes and ethanes on the competitive sorption of trichloroethylene (TCE) to the roots of Typha latifolia (cattail). The results showed that chlorinated ethenes exerted significantly stronger competition on the sorption of TCE than chlorinated ethanes. Individual physiochemical properties of organic compounds could be related to the competitive capacity of chlorinated ethenes, but the roles appeared secondary, with molecular structures showing primary effects. Based on these observations, a two-step sorption mechanism was proposed, consisting of the interactions between organic compounds and functional groups on the root surface and subsequent pore filling and absorption to the hydrophobic domains in the composition of roots.
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