Journal of agricultural and food chemistry

Montmorillonite-phenyltrimethylammonium yields environmentally improved formulations of hydrophobic herbicides.

PMID 11052735


This study aimed to design formulations of hydrophobic herbicides, alachlor and metolachlor, by adsorbing them on the clay mineral montmorillonite preadsorbed by the small organic cation phenyltrimethylammonium (PTMA). An adsorption model that considers electrostatics and specific binding and the possibility of cation adsorption above the cation exchange capacity (CEC) could explain and yield predictions for PTMA adsorption in the presence of NaCl concentrations from 0 to 500 mM. Adsorption of alachlor and metolachlor from aqueous solution on a clay mineral preadsorbed by PTMA was determined by GC and modeled by Langmuir equation. Herbicide interactions with the organoclay were studied by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Leaching of herbicides was determined by a bioassay using a column technique and Setaria viridis as a test plant. The adsorbed amounts of alachlor and metolachlor on montmorillonite preadsorbed by PTMA at a loading of 0. 5 mol/kg (Mont-PTMA0.5) were higher than at a loading up to the CEC, that is, 0.8 mol/kg, and were higher than those obtained by using several other organic cations. Herbicide formulations based on Mont-PTMA0.5 yielded the largest shifts of the infrared peaks of the herbicides. These formulations based on Mont-PTMA0.5 gave slower release and showed improved weed control in comparison with formulations based on other organoclays. These formulations maintained herbicidal activity in the topsoil and yielded the most significant reduction in herbicide leaching.