Sorption of dodecyltrimethylammonium chloride (DTAC) to agricultural soils

Lei XIANG, Teng-Fei SUN, Mei-Jie ZHENG, Yan-Wen LI, Hui LI, Ming Hung WONG, Quan-Ying CAI, Ce-Hui MO

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19 Citations (Scopus)


Quaternary ammonium compounds (QACs) used as cationic surfactants are intensively released into environment to be pollutants receiving more and more concerns. Sorption of dodecyltrimethylammonium chloride (DTAC), one of commonly used alkyl QACs, to five types of agricultural soils at low concentrations (1–50 mg/L) was investigated using batch experiments. DTAC sorption followed pseudo-second-order kinetics and reached reaction equilibrium within 120 min. Both Freundlich model and Langmuir model fitted well with DTAC isotherm data with the latter better. DTAC sorption was spontaneous and favorable, presenting a physical sorption dominated by ion exchanges. Sorption distribution coefficient and sorption affinity demonstrated that soil clay contents acted as a predominant phase of DTAC sorption. DTAC could display a higher mobility and potential accumulation in crops in the soils with lower clay contents and lower pH values. Sorption of DTAC was heavily affected by ions in solution with anion promotion and cation inhibition. Copyright © 2016 Published by Elsevier B.V.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-203
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Early online dateApr 2016
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016


Xiang, L., Sun, T.-F., Zheng, M.-J., Li, Y.-W., Li, H., Wong, M.-H., et al. (2016). Sorption of dodecyltrimethylammonium chloride (DTAC) to agricultural soils. Science of The Total Environment, 560-561, 197-203. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.03.235


  • Quaternary ammonium compounds
  • Sorption
  • Agricultural soil
  • Clay contents
  • Ion exchanges


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