The main objective of this study was to determine the effects of long-term abiotic processes during aging of organic pollutants in soil on their microbial degradability and formation of non-extractable residues. The specific aims of our study were to investigate how the fate of p353-nonylphenol (NP) and phenanthrene (Phe) in soils might be affected by: (i) saturation of soil by cations with different valency (Na(+), Ca(2+) or Al(3+)), (ii) addition of organic substrate (wood flour) during incubation period and (iii) different soil moisture levels. This study showed positive effect of long-term aging of sterilized samples on respiration of re-inoculated samples. However, the lack of aging effects on the mineralization of NP and Phe indicates that slow sorption processes by diffusion into less bioaccessible domains were not relevant in studied soils. Similarly, the lower respiration and xenobiotic mineralization rates in the Na(+) and Al(3+) treated soils indicate that this is due to toxic effects on microbial activity and not due to xenobiotic accessibility. Instead, the formation of non-extractable residues was strongly promoted by biological activity, most likely through formation of more reactive metabolites. The addition of wood flour greatly stimulated microbial respiration and enhanced NP mineralization while inhibiting that of Phe. Along with negligible effect of water addition after 4 weeks of incubation on kinetics of soil respiration, the soil moisture effect on xenobiotics mineralization indicates that most probably the bioavailability of NP and Phe increased due to bridging role of water films in soil. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.