Comparative study on the biodegradability of morpholinium herbicidal ionic liquids.

PMID 26099357


This study focused on evaluating the toxicity as well as primary and ultimate biodegradability of morpholinium herbicidal ionic liquids (HILs), which incorporated MCPA, MCPP, 2,4-D or Dicamba anions. The studied HILs were also subjected to determination of surface active properties in order to assess their influence on toxicity and biodegradability. The study was carried out with microbiota isolated from different environmental niches: sediments from river channel, garden soil, drainage trench collecting agricultural runoff stream, agricultural soil and municipal waste repository. The obtained results revealed that resistance to toxicity and biodegradation efficiency of the microbiota increased in the following order: microbiota from the waste repository > microbiota from agricultural soil ≈ microbiota from an agricultural runoff stream > microbiota from garden soil > microbiota from the river sludge. It was observed that the toxicity of HILs increased with the hydrophobicity of the cation, however the influence of the anion was more notable. The highest toxicity was observed when MCPA was used as the anion (EC50 values ranging from 60 to 190 mg L(-1)). The results of ultimate biodegradation tests indicated that only HILs with 2,4-D as the anion were mineralized to some extent, with slightly higher values for HILs with the 4-decyl-4-ethylmorpholinium cation (10-31 %) compared to HILs with the 4,4-didecylmorpholinium cation (9-20 %). Overall, the cations were more susceptible (41-94 %) to primary biodegradation compared to anions (0-61 %). The obtained results suggested that the surface active properties of the studied HILs may influence their toxicity and biodegradability by bacteria in different environmental niches.