The fate and behavior of five commonly occurring aromatic volatile organic compounds (VOCs), namely toluene, ethyl benzene, and o-, m-, and p-xylene, were investigated in sewage sludge-amended soil. Laboratory experiments were conducted to investigate VOC concentrations in sludge-amended soil for different soils and at different sludge application rates over 31 days. Results indicated that VOC loss rates decreased with increased soil organic matter content and increased sludge application rate. VOC loss rates in spiked samples were found to be comparable to those in unspiked samples over 31 days. Results from laboratory experiments also indicated that abiotic loss processes were more important than biological degradation for the removal of VOCs from sewage sludge-amended soil. VOC loss rates were also compared in a field study where sludge was applied to grassed and plowed plots.
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