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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Organic Compounds in the Environment

Application of Calorimetry to Microbial Biodegradation Studies of Agrochemicals in Oxisols


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 30 No. 3, p. 954-959
    Received: Nov 1, 1999

    * Corresponding author(s): airoldi@iqm.unicamp.br
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  1. Silvana A.M. Critter and
  2. Claudio Airoldi *
  1. Instituto de Química, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Caixa Postal 6154, 13083-970 Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil


Calorimetry was used to monitor the inhibitory effect caused by the bipyridynium diquaternary salts paraquat, diquat, and phosphamidon on microbial activity in a Red Latosol soil (Oxisol). The thermal effect was recorded on samples composed of 1.50 g of soil, 6.0 mg of glucose, 6.0 mg of ammonium sulfate, and different masses of an inhibitor ranging from zero to 8.00 mg, under a controlled moisture content of 35%. Thermal effects of each pollutant on the degradation curves of glucose in the soil were compared. Increasing amounts of the inhibitor caused a decrease in the thermal effect from −2234 to −1987 kJ mol−1 for paraquat, −1670 to −1306 kJ mol−1 for diquat, and −2239 to −589 kJ mol−1 for phosphamidon. The last xenobiotic agent caused a significant inhibitory effect on the microbial activity of the soil. The results of relative efficiency, η = ΔHH′, referring to the enthalpic value with (ΔH) and without (ΔH′) agrochemical in the soil, exhibited a significant correlation. From this correlation obtained for the ranges 2.00 to 8.00, 1.30 to 8.00, and 1.20 to 5.80 mg of the agrochemicals paraquat, diquat, and phosphamidon, respectively, the following η values were calculated: 0.993 to 0.894, 0.668 to 0.522, and 0.896 to 0.236, respectively, during the degradation of glucose in the soil. The largest relative efficiency for paraquat implies that this agrochemical can be metabolized by microbial activity.

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Copyright © 2001. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyPublished in J. Environ. Qual.30:954–959.