Chemical Mass Balance (CMB) Evaluation of Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB) Sources in Sediments of Kizilirmak River, Turkey, Near a Scrap Yard

Gedik K., İmamoğlu İ.

ENVIRONMENTAL FORENSICS, vol.13, pp.39-44, 2012 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 13
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/15275922.2011.622346
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.39-44
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


This study presents a preliminary investigation for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) on surface sediments in a reach of Kizilirmak River near a scrap yard in Kirikkale, Turkey. PCB concentrations of up to 19.5 ng/g(-1) Sigma(41) were observed in sediments downstream of the yard, where profiles showed predominantly the presence of penta-and hexa-chlorobiphenyls. Specifically, #138, 149, 153, 180 were the most abundant congeners in downstream samples. In contrast, no PCBs were observable in sediments upstream of the scrap yard. The contributing PCB sources to the sediments were predicted by a chemical mass balance (CMB)-based receptor model; Aroclor 1260 was identified as the major source for these sediments. Considering that Aroclor 1260 was extensively used in old transformers and capacitors, occurrence of this PCB signature point to the scrap yard as a potential source. Release of PCBs over time as indicated by the significant concentrations observed even in surface samples emphasizes the importance of the need for better environmental management in the region.