- The effects of five short-chain organic acids (SCOAs) on the behaviors of pyrene in soil-water system were investigated. The influences of the quantity and species of organic acids, pH, and soil dissolved organic matter were considered. The results showed the presence of SCOAs inhibited the adsorption and promoted the desorption of pyrene in the following order: citric acid>oxalic acid>tartaric acid>lactic acid>acetic acid. The decreased extents of pyrene adsorption performance enhanced with increasing SCOA concentrations, while the decreasing rate became less pronounced at high SCOA concentrations. In the presence of organic acids, the adsorption ability of pyrene decreased with increasing pH. However, there was a slight increase of pyrene adsorption with the addition of oxalic acid, tartaric acid and citric acid above pH 8. The capacity for pyrene retention differentiated significantly between the soils with and without dissolved organic matter. The presence of SCOAs was also favorable for the decrease of pyrene adsorption on soil without dissolved organic matter. The results of this study have important implications for the remediation of persistent organic pollutants in soil and groundwater.