The prediction of partitioning coefficients for chemicals causing environmental concern

Wei Chu, Kwai Hing Chan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


Various types of partition coefficients have been used to facilitate the prediction of the concentration of pollutants in different phases in the environment. Many thousands of chemicals may exist in our environment which makes prediction work difficult or impossible due to a deficiency of knowledge of those unfamiliar compounds. In this study, the correlation between an octanol-water partition coefficient (K(ow)), water solubility (S) and a normalized soil/sediment partition coefficient (K(oc)) was investigated though the examination of 148 model chemicals. These model chemicals were classified into five major categories for easier adoption in future use. They are aliphatic compounds, aromatic compounds, pesticides, herbicides and polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). Linear models are developed to correlate these partition coefficients in each category. The prediction of unfamiliar chemicals in the same category becomes possible if the fundamental properties of these chemicals (such as solubility) are previously known.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 29 Mar 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Partitioning coefficients
  • Remediation
  • Soil

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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