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Spatio-vertical characterization of the BTEXS group of VOCs in Chinese agricultural soils

Xu, Chenye and Lin, Xinmeng and Yin, Shanshan and Liu, Kai and Liu, Weiping (2019) Spatio-vertical characterization of the BTEXS group of VOCs in Chinese agricultural soils. Science of the Total Environment, 694 . Art. No. 133631. ISSN 0048-9697.

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Ubiquitous contamination of the BTEXS (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene, and styrene) group in soils is a significant concern for ecological safety. However, comprehensive spatio-vertical survey of the BTEXS group on a national scale is rare to date. Using a static headspace gas chromatography–mass spectrometry method (HS-GCMS), this study performed a quantitative analysis of BTEXS levels in soils from Chinese rural areas in 2013 and 2016. The median ∑BTEXS concentrations in surface soils in 2013 and 2016 were 37.5 and 34.4 ng g^(−1) dry weight, respectively. Toluene was the dominant pollutant, accounting for approximately 41.6% and 32.1% of the total levels. BTEXS contamination was higher in Shanxi province, Northeast China, and Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau compared to the other regions. Vertically, toluene, m,p′-xylene and o′-xylene concentrations were significantly higher in the top soil layer (0–15 cm) and decreased significantly with increasing soil depth (p < 0.05). Higher soil organic matter was significantly associated with higher BTEXS concentrations of sampling site. BTEXS was also enhanced at sites with higher elevations and lower temperature due to global distillation effects. The findings of this study could help decision-makers to protect against BTEXS contamination in rural areas. These findings provide a basis for further study of the mechanism of BTEXS migration and transport in large-scale environment.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Yin, Shanshan0000-0001-8859-9852
Liu, Kai0000-0002-2109-8196
Liu, Weiping0000-0002-1173-892X
Additional Information:© 2019 Elsevier B.V. Received 2 June 2019, Revised 24 July 2019, Accepted 26 July 2019, Available online 29 July 2019. The authors acknowledge financial supports from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21777137, 21621005 and 21427815). The study was also supported by “Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities” (2232019D3-23) and Initial Research Funds for Young Teachers of Donghua University.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
National Natural Science Foundation of China21777137
National Natural Science Foundation of China21621005
National Natural Science Foundation of China21427815
Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities2232019D3-23
Donghua UniversityUNSPECIFIED
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190729-114508513
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Official Citation:Chenye Xu, Xinmeng Lin, Shanshan Yin, Kai Liu, Weiping Liu, Spatio-vertical characterization of the BTEXS group of VOCs in Chinese agricultural soils, Science of The Total Environment, Volume 694, 2019, 133631, ISSN 0048-9697, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:97489
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:29 Jul 2019 19:50
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 21:32

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