Quantification of Azaarenes, Hdroxylated Azaarene Derivatives, and Other Polar Compounds Released in Urban Runoff from Two Commercial Sealcoat Products

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Environmental Pollution


Sealcoat is an emulsified coating product applied to asphalt to protect against surface weathering. Sealcoat products contain coal-tar (CT) or petroleum-derived residues and are a recognized source of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in urban areas. Although the toxicity of urban runoff from CT-sealed asphalt is established, chemical characterization has focused more on PAHs and alkylated derivatives and less on polar transformation products. In this study, solid-phase extraction (SPE) was used to concentrate dissolved (<0.2 μm) species in runoff collected from asphalt surfaces sealed with CT pitch or steam-cracked petroleum (SCP) residues. CT-sealed surfaces released a 20-fold greater concentration of SPE-extractable compounds in runoff compared to SCP-sealed surfaces. Representative compounds were sorted into four groups: nitrogen heterocycles (azaarenes) and other oxygen- and sulfur-containing species (N HET); hydroxylated N heterocycles (hydroxylated N HET); the nonionic surfactant 2,4,7,9-tetramethyl-5-decyne-4,7-diol (TMDD); and styrene-acrylonitrile polymer byproducts (SAN Trimer). Species concentrations and weathering-related disappearance behavior differed among the four subgroups. While hydroxylated N HET concentrations decreased by 94% in runoff from CT-sealed surfaces 60 h after sealcoat application, SAN Trimer concentrations in CT and SCP runoff increased over time as polymerization progressed, illustrating the complex changes the chemicals in sealcoat undergo as it cures under environmentally-relevant conditions. Overall, this study shows that urban runoff collected from CT-sealed and SCP-sealed asphalt surfaces is a potential source of water-soluble contaminants with unknown long-term ecotoxicological effects to aquatic systems.


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