Journal of agricultural and food chemistry

Decontamination of aqueous glyphosate, (aminomethyl)phosphonic acid, and glufosinate solutions by electro-fenton-like process with Mn2+ as the catalyst.

PMID 19438208


The ability of the modified electro-Fenton-like (EF-like) process to degrade aqueous solutions of glyphosate, which is the most widely used herbicide in the world, has been assessed with Mn(2+) and other metal ions as catalysts to overcome the problems posed by some stable metal ion complexes of phosphonate herbicides. Bulk electrolyses with a carbon-felt cathode and Pt anode were performed in an undivided cell under galvanostatic conditions to study the effect of the applied current as well as Mn(2+) and glyphosate concentrations. The herbicide was completely destroyed in all cases following a pseudofirst-order kinetics, and the second-order rate constant for its reaction with (*)OH was determined. The decay trends obtained by high-performance liquid chromatography-fluorometric detection (HPLC-FL) and ion chromatography analysis were similar. AMPA [(aminomethyl)phosphonic acid] was the major reaction intermediate and showed slower pseudofirst-order destruction kinetics. The high mineralization degree obtained for glyphosate solutions confirmed the great performance of the EF-like process with Mn(2+), which promotes the C-N cleavage by (*)OH attack as the first oxidation step and the C-P cleavage in a further step. High-level decontamination achieved for AMPA and glufosinate solutions corroborated the benefits of this oxidation process.