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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 14 No. 1, p. 83-86
    Received: Nov 19, 1983

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Butanol Degradation and Volatilization in Soils Amended with Spent Acid or Sulfuric Acid1

  1. B. C. Fairbanks,
  2. N. E. Schmidt and
  3. G. A. O'Connor2



Butanol persistence may be an important consideration in determining the phytotoxic effects of alkylation spent acid added to soils. The degradation and volatilization of n(1-14C)butanol were thus monitored in two calcareous soils from New Mexico amended or unamended with spent or reagent grade sulfuric acids. Degradation of butanol to CO2 was rapid and was the primary mechanism of loss from these soils. After 20 d, 14CO2 evolution averaged 58 and 51% of the added 14C for Glendale clay (Typic Torrifluvents) and Lea sandy loam (Petrocalcic Paleustolls), respectively; a majority of this loss occurred within 2 d. Acid type (spent or reagent grade) did not affect degradation, but 14CO2 production increased with acid rate. Volatilization was essentially complete within 1 d and averaged 8 and 16% of the added 14C for the Glendale clay and Lea sandy loam soils, respectively. Acid rate, but not acid type, affected volatilization loss. The summation of degradation and volatilization losses was similar for both soils and averaged 67% after 20 d, a majority of which was lost within 2 d.

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