Journal of chromatography. A

High-performance liquid chromatographic-nuclear magnetic resonance investigation of the isomerization of alachlor-ethanesulfonic acid.

PMID 14753779


The metabolism of the acetanilide herbicide alachlor in soils leads to the formation of alachlor-ethanesulfonic acid (alachlor-ESA) as one of the major transformation products of this compound. The unique structure of alachlor and its metabolites allows the formation of two diastereomers (s-trans and s-cis) due to the hindered rotation of the amide bond connected to a rigid aromatic ring. Although these stereoisomers do interconvert by rotation about the amide bond, the rate of interconversion is slow allowing separation of the isomers on the chromatographic time scale. Once separated, the unique nuclear magnetic resonance signals of each isomer can be used to monitor the rate of isomerization. This paper reports the on-line separation and detection of the rotational diastereomers using high-performance liquid chromatography-nuclear magnetic resonance (HPLC-NMR) to efficiently measure the isomerization rate of alachlor-ESA.