Vertical profile and assessment of soil pollution from a typical coking plant by suspect screening and non-target screening using GC/QTOF-MS


A comprehensive workflow for suspect screening and non-target screening with gas chromatography coupled with quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GC/QTOF-MS) was used to characterize the pollution characteristics of soil samples in a typical coking plant in China. Suspect screening confirmed 57 chemicals including PAHs, alkyl PAHs, and phthalates contained in high-resolution personal compound database and library (PCDL). Non-target screening detected 88 chemicals from soil samples in the NIST 17 library. A total of 122 chemicals were screened in soil samples, and many of them were of emerging concern. Their presence in the soil obtained from coking operations has been underestimated, such as the oxygenated PAHs (naphtho[2,1-b]furan and 9H-fluoren-9-one), and the alkyl biphenyls compounds (4,4′-dimethylbiphenyl, 3,3′-dimethylbiphenyl, 4-methyl-1,1′-biphenyl and 2,2′,5,5′-tetramethyl-1,1′-biphenyl). Toxicity assays by luminescent bacteria proved that the extracts from soil samples at different depths showed varying toxicity to V. qinghaiensis sp.-Q67. Soil extracts from a depth of 20-40 cm exhibited the greatest toxicity to luminescent bacteria compared with the other six-layered soil samples, which was correlated with the number of detectable pollutants and total organic carbon content. This study provided a screening method for suspect and non-target contaminants in urban industrial soil sites, which was important in identifying localized contamination sources.

Authors: Mingyuan Liu, Changsheng Guo, Chaofei Zhu, Jiapei Lv, Wenlong Yang, Linlin Wu, Jian Xu
; Full Source: The Science of the total environment 2021 Oct 28;151278. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.151278.