Effect of salinity on formaldehyde interaction with quartz sand and kaolinite colloid particles: batch and column experiments

  • Theodosia V. Fountouli
  • Constantinos V. ChrysikopoulosEmail author
  • Ioannis K. Tsanis
Original Article


Formaldehyde (FA) is a highly reactive compound that is used extensively in medicine, agriculture and industrial processes as a disinfectant for killing bacteria and fungi. Therefore, the probability of FA release in the environment, with subsequent surface and ground water contamination is significant. In this study, the effect of salinity on the interaction of FA with quartz sand and kaolinite colloid particles under static and dynamic conditions was examined. Emphasis was given to salinity fluctuations, as related to typical saltwater intrusion cases commonly encountered in coastal cultivated agricultural lands. All bench scale experiments were performed under controlled conditions at room temperature. The data from the batch experiments were adequately fitted with a linear sorption isotherm. The transport of FA through columns packed with quartz sand under different salinity concentrations was also investigated. Formaldehyde was analyzed spectrophotometrically according to the Hantzsch reaction. The results of this study indicated that FA has a weak affinity for sand, but a relatively strong affinity for kaolinite colloid particles. Salinity was shown to have minor effects on FA transport.


Formaldehyde Salinity Sorption Quartz sand Kaolinite Transport Porous media 



The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007–2013) under grant agreement no 603498 (RECARE). The authors are thankful to R. Sarika for valuable laboratory assistance.


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Environmental EngineeringTechnical University of CreteChaniaGreece
  2. 2.Department of Civil EngineeringMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada

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