Degradation of 4-fluorobiphenyl in soil investigated by F-19 NMR spectroscopy and C-14 radiolabelling analysis

N A Green, A A Meharg, C Till, J Troke, J K Nicholson

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14 Citations (Scopus)


The incubation of the model pollutant [U-C-14]'-4-fluorobiphenyl (4FBP) in soil. in the presence and absence of biphenyl (a co-substrate), was carried out in order to study the qualitative disposition and fate of the compound using C-14-HPLC and F-19 NMR spectroscopy. Components accounted for using the radiolabel were volatilisation, CO2 evolution, organic solvent extractable and bound residue. Quantitative analysis of these data gave a complete mass balance. After sample preparation, C-14-HPLC was used to establish the number of 4FBP related components present in the organic solvent extract. F-19 NMR was also used to quantify the organic extracts and to identify the components of the extract. Both approaches showed that the composition of the solvent extractable fractions comprised only parent compound with no metabolites present. As the C-14 radiolabel was found to be incorporated into the soil organic matter this indicates that metabolites were being generated, but were highly transitory as incorporation into the SOM was rapid. The inclusion of the co-substrate biphenyl was to increase the overall rate of degradation of 4FBP in soil. The kinetics of disappearance of parent from the soil using the data obtained were investigated from both techniques. This is the first report describing the degradation of a fluorinated biphenyl in soil. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1085-1101
Number of pages17
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1999


  • F-19 NMR spectroscopy
  • C-14 radiolabelling
  • HPLC
  • fluorobiphenyl
  • degradation
  • soil


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