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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Organic Compounds in the Environment

Atrazine Sorption–Desorption Hysteresis by Sugarcane Mulch Residue


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 34 No. 1, p. 325-335
    Received: Nov 12, 2003

    * Corresponding author(s): mselim@agctr.lsu.edu
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  1. H. M. Selim * and
  2. H. Zhu
  1. Sturgis Hall, Department of Agronomy and Environmental Management, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70803


Sorption and desorption kinetics are essential components for modeling the movement and retention of applied agricultural chemicals in soils and the fraction of chemicals susceptible to runoff. In this study, we investigated the retention characteristics of sugarcane (Saccharum spp. hybrid) mulch residue for atrazine (2-chloro-4-ethylamino-6-isopropylamino-1,3,5-triazine) based on studies of sorption–desorption kinetics. A sorption kinetic batch method was used to quantify retention of the mulch residue for a wide range of atrazine concentrations and reaction times. Desorption was performed following 504 h of sorption using successive dilutions, followed by methanol extraction. Atrazine retention by the mulch residue was well described using a linear model where the partitioning coefficient (K d) increased with reaction time from 10.40 to 23.4 cm3 g−1 after 2 and 504 h, respectively. Values for mulch residue K d were an order of magnitude higher than those found for Commerce silt loam (fine-silty, mixed, superactive, nonacid, thermic Fluvaquentic Endoaquepts) where the sugarcane crop was grown. A kinetic multireaction model was successful in describing sorption behavior with reaction time. The model was equally successful in describing observed hysteretic atrazine behavior during desorption for all input concentrations. The model was concentration independent where one set of model parameters, which was derived from all batch results, was valid for the entire atrazine concentration range. Average atrazine recovery following six successive desorption steps were 63.67 ± 4.38% of the amount adsorbed. Moreover, a hysteresis coefficient based on the difference in the area between sorption and desorption isotherms was capable of quantifying hysteresis of desorption isotherms.

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