Environmental occurrence and fate of semifluorinated n-alkanes and perfluorinated alkyl acids present in ski waxes
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Highly fluorinated organic compounds are emerging environmental contaminants of concern, due to their persistence, ubiquitous distribution, bioaccumulation potential and toxicity. Ski waxes are sources of highly fluorinated chemicals to the environment that have not been investigated so far. Some contain fluorinated additives such as semifluorinated n-alkanes (SFAs). This thesis investigated the fate of SFAs after abrasion onto snow through skiing activities. Furthermore, perfluorinated alkyl acids (PFAAs) were found to be present in fluorinated ski waxes. A lot of attention has been paid to elucidating the environmental fate of PFAAs during the past decade. However, nothing was known so far about their release from melting snow packs.
Analytical methods for quantification of SFAs in different environmental matrices were developed. The methods were used to investigate the fate of SFAs during snow melt and to study their occurrence in ski areas. Laboratory snow melt experiments and model-based fate simulations suggested that SFAs will sorb to the snow grain surface and particles in the bulk snow and, after snowmelt, will end up on the underlying (soil) surface. SFAs were detected and quantified for the first time in snow and soil samples taken from a ski area in Sweden. Comparison of concentrations in snow and soil did not give any evidence for long-term accumulation of SFAs in surface soil, but suggested volatilization of shorter chain homologues during snow melt. Such a volatilization could also explain an observed SFA pattern difference between snow and soil samples.
Laboratory scale snow melt experiments were also used to investigate the behavior of PFAAs during snowmelt. PFAAs were released with the melt water from the snow pack in pulses. The pulses occurred early, late or with a so far unknown peak elution in the middle of the snowmelt, depending on the hydrophobicity of the PFAAs. These peak releases were further influenced by the age of the snow pack and thus the snow surface area and to a lesser extent by pH and ion concentrations.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM), Stockholm University , 2011. , 35 p.
Semifluorinated n-alkanes, Perfluorinated alkyl acids, ski waxes, snow, soil, fate
Research subject Applied Environmental Science
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-56405ISBN: 978-91-7447-280-6 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-56405DiVA: diva2:411051
2011-05-27, William-Olssonsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 14, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Halsall, Crispin, Dr
Berger, Urs, DrMcLachlan, Michael, Professor
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