Polyurethane foam (PUF) passive samplers for monitoring phenanthrene in stormwater

Yueqin Dou, Tian C. Zhang, Jing Zeng, John Stansbury, Massoum Moussavi, Dana L. Richter-Egger, Mitchell R. Klein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Pollution from highway stormwater runoff has been an increasing area of concern. Many structural Best Management Practices (BMPs) have been implemented for stormwater treatment and management. One challenge for these BMPs is to sample stormwater and monitor BMP performance. The main objective of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of using polyurethane foam (PUF) passive samplers (PSs) for sampling phenanthrene (PHE) in highway stormwater runoff and BMPs. Tests were conducted using batch reactors, glass-tube columns, and laboratory-scale BMPs (bioretention cells). Results indicate that sorption for PHE by PUF is mainly linearly relative to time, and the high sorption capacity allows the PUF passive sampler to monitor stormwater events for months or years. The PUF passive samplers could be embedded in BMPs for monitoring influent and effluent PHE concentrations. Models developed to link the results of batch and column tests proved to be useful for determining removal or sorption parameters and performance of the PUF-PSs. The predicted removal efficiencies of BMPs were close to the real values obtained from the control columns with errors ranging between -8.46 and 1.52%. This research showed that it is possible to use PUF passive samplers for sampling stormwater and monitoring the performance of stormwater BMPs, which warrants the field-scale feasibility studies in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)473-481
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Science: Processes and Impacts
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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