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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Adsorption of Atrazine on Smectites


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 56 No. 1, p. 62-67
    Received: Feb 25, 1991

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  1. D. A. Laird *,
  2. E. Barriuso,
  3. R. H. Dowdy and
  4. W. C. Koskinen
  1. USDA-ARS National Soil Tilth Lab., 2150 Pammel Drive, Ames, IA 50011
    Science des Sols & Hydrologie, Institut National Agronomique, Paris
    USDA-ARS Soil and Water Management Research Unit, 439 Borlaug Hall, Univ. of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 55108. Joint contribution of the USDA-ARS and the Minnesota Agric. Exp. Stn. Paper no. 19055 of the Scientific Journal series.



Smectites may strongly influence the fate of pesticides in soils due to their large surface area and abundance in agricultural soils. This research was undertaken to determine the effects of smectite properties on the affinity of smectitic clays for atrazine (2-chloro-4-ethylamino-6-isopropylamino-1, 3, 5 triazine). Samples of the <2-µm fraction were separated by sedimentation from 13 reference smectites and treated with H2O2 for removal of organic matter. A soil smectite sample was separated (<0.02-µm fraction) from a H2O2 and dithionite-citrate-bicarbonate-treated Webster (fine-loamy, mixed, mesic Typic Haplaquoll) soil by a dispersion-centrifugation-decantation technique. All 14 samples were Ca saturated, dialyzed free of excess electrolyte, and freeze dried. The mineralogy of each sample was evaluated by a combination of x-ray diffraction and chemical analysis. Values for cation-exchange capacity (CEC), surface charge density (SCD), surface area (SA), and percent tetrahedral charge (TC) were based on structural interpretations of the chemical analyses. Freundlich adsorption isotherms for atrazine adsorption on each sample were determined using the batch-equilibration method. Smectite was the dominant mineral in 13 of the clay samples; the 14th sample was a mixture of interstratified smectite-illite, quartz, and kaolinite. For the smectitic clays, atrazine adsorption ranged from 0 to 100%, and the logarithm of the Freundlich adsorption constant [log(Kf)] decreased linearly with the CEC (r2 = 0.82) of the clays. Stepwise multiple-regression analysis indicated that log (Kf) values were correlated with SCD and SA values (r2 = 0.83). Inclusion of TC and suspension pH as independent variables in the regression analysis did not significantly improve the correlations. The results indicate that the affinity of smectites for atrazine decreases with increasing SCD, which suggests that atrazine is primarily adsorbed by smectites as a neutral species.

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