Influence of humic substances on the photolysis of aqueous pesticide residues.

PMID 16962640


The present work investigated the direct and indirect photolysis of pesticide residues (atrazine, imazaquin, iprodione), in aqueous solutions and under UV-visible radiation (280-480nm). Different kinds of humic substances (HS) were added to samples in order to evaluate their behaviour as possible photocatalysts and their effect on the photolysis of pesticides. The fulvic acids were purchased from the International Humic Substances Society, and they were added to samples in concentrations ranging from 1 to 150 mgl(-1). Titanium dioxide was used as the photocatalyst, in concentration ranging from 10 to 150 mgl(-1). Pesticides photolysis were measured by UV-visible absorption spectroscopy and differential pulse polarography with all used pesticides, reaching total degradation after 2h of irradiation, thus indicating a fast direct photolysis. Photocatalysis by TiO(2) could increase the pesticides photolysis rate up to 40%. This effect, however, was not observed for imazaquin photolysis. Again, except for imazaquin, HS presence showed a positive effect in increasing pesticide degradation, but only within specific concentration ranges (below 10mg l(-1) for iprodione and about 30mgl(-1) for atrazine). Above these ranges HS induce a decrease in the pesticides photolysis rate. Spin-trapping measurements by electronic paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy, using the spin-trap DMPO, showed that HS are able to photogenerate hydroxyl radicals, increasing the pesticides molecule degradation. However, the HS also react with the photogenerated hydroxyl radical, influencing the pesticide photolysis, leading to a decrease in the photolysis rate and causing it to be strongly dependent on the nature and concentration of residues in the water to be treated.

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Imazaquin, PESTANAL®, analytical standard