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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract -

Degradation of the Pesticides Mecoprop and Atrazine in Unpolluted Sandy Aquifers


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 22 No. 2, p. 262-266
    Received: Aug 19, 1991

    * Corresponding author(s):
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  1. Mikala Klint *,
  2. Erik Arvin and
  3. Bjørn K. Jensen
  1. Dep. of Environmental Engineering, Bldg. 115, Technical University of Denmark, DK-2800 Lyngby, Denmark.



The potential for biodegradation of the pesticides mecoprop [(+/−)-2-(4-chloro-2-methyl-phenoxy)propionic acid] and atrazine [2-chloro-4-ethylamino-6-isopropylamino-s-triazine] in an aerobic aquifer was investigated in laboratory batch experiments. The experiments were performed with groundwater and suspensions of groundwater and aquifer sediment collected from a pristine sandy aquifer. Following a lag period of 35 to 40 d, mecoprop in a concentration of 100 µg/L was degraded in 30 d in groundwater at 10°C. New additions of 100 to 140 µg mecoprop/L were degraded within a week. In suspensions of groundwater and aquifer sediment, mecoprop in the concentration range 75 to 300 µg/L was degraded in 15 d, following a lag period of less than 7 d. Experiments performed with sediments taken from different depths indicate that there was a considerable variation in the degradation potential within the aquifer. Atrazine was not degraded during an incubation period of 539 d in groundwater and 174 d in suspensions of groundwater and aquifer sediment. The addition of nutrients, primary substrates (acetate and naphthalene), and a pH or temperature increase had not effect on the recalcitrance of atrazine.

This research was funded by the Commission of the European Communities.

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