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Effects of activated carbon ageing in three PCB contaminated sediments: Sorption efficiency and secondary effects on Lumbriculus variegatus

Lookup NU author(s): Professor David WernerORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


The sorption efficiency and possible secondary effects of activated carbon (AC) (ø 63–200 μm) was studied withLumbriculus variegatusin three PCB contaminated sediments applying long AC-sediment contact time (3 years). AC amendment efficiently reduced PCB bioavailability as determined with both,L. variegatusbioaccumulation test and passive samplers. However, dose related secondary effects of AC on egestion rate and biomass were observed (applied doses 0.25% and 2.5% sediment dry weight). The sorption capacity and secondary effects remained similar when the experiments were repeated after three years of AC-sediment contact time. Further, transmission electron microscopy (TEM) samples revealed morphological changes in theL. variegatusgut wall microvilli layer. Sediment properties affected both sorption efficiency and secondary effects, but 2.5% AC addition had significant effects regardless of the sediment. In, conclusion, AC is an efficient and stable sorbent to decrease the bioavailability of PCBs. However, sediment dwelling organisms, such as Oligochaete worms in this study, may be sensitive to the carbon amendments. The secondary effects and possible morphological changes in benthic organisms should not be overlooked as in many cases they form the basis of the aquatic food webs.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Nybom I, Waissi-Leinonen G, Mäenpää K, Leppänen MT, Kukkonen JWK, Werner D, Akkanen J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Water Research

Year: 2015

Volume: 85

Pages: 413-421

Print publication date: 15/11/2015

Online publication date: 29/08/2015

Acceptance date: 22/08/2015

Date deposited: 19/09/2015

ISSN (print): 0043-1354

ISSN (electronic): 1879-2448

Publisher: IWA Publishing


DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2015.08.044


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Funder referenceFunder name
Finnish Doctoral Programme in Environmental Science and Technology (EnSTe)
Maj and Tor Nessling foundation
258120Academy of Finland