To support the choice of a remediation technique for the decontamination of PAH contaminated dredged sediments a characterisation test is needed, that takes into account the physical state in which PAHs occur. Here, solvent extraction is proposed as such a characterisation test. Solvent extraction experiments were performed with a 1/1 acetone-water mixture on (particle size fractions of) PAH-contaminated harbour sludge. The PAHs were more easily dissolved from fine than from coarse fractions, which indicates that the PAHs in the fine fractions are better (bio)available. The results further suggest that PAHs were present in particulate form, absorbed in organic matter and dissolved in oil. The performed extraction experiments provide a basis for further development of existing models.

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