Determination of 1-octanol-air partition coefficient using gaseous diffusion in the air boundary layer

Yeonjeong Ha, Jung Hwan Kwon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Exact determination of the partition coefficient between 1-octanol and air (KOA) is very important because it is a key descriptor for describing the thermodynamic partitioning between the air and organic phases. In spite of its importance, the number and quality of experimental KOA values for hydrophobic organic chemicals are limited because of experimental difficulties. Thus, to measure KOA values, a high-throughput method was developed that used liquid-phase extraction with 1-octanol drop at the tip of a microsyringe needle. The concentration in the headspace surrounding the 1 μL octanol drop was equilibrated with liquid octanol containing polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The change in concentrations of PAHs in the octanol drop was measured to obtain mass transfer rate constants, and these rate constants were then converted into KOA values using a film diffusion model. Thirteen polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons with log KOA between 5 and 12 were chosen for the proof of the principle. Experimental determination of log KOA was accomplished in 30 h for PAHs with their log KOA less than 11. The measured log KOA values were very close to those obtained by various experimental and estimation methods in the literature, suggesting that this new method can provide a fast and easy determination of log KOA values for many chemicals of environmental interests. In addition, the applicability of the method can be extended to determine Henry's law constant for compounds with low vapor pressure and to estimate gaseous transfer rate of semivolatile compounds for environmental fate modeling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3041-3046
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Apr 15
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Determination of 1-octanol-air partition coefficient using gaseous diffusion in the air boundary layer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this