Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 24, Issue 9, pp 7880–7888 | Cite as

Determination of glyphosate in surface water with high organic matter content

  • Vahur Toss
  • Ivo Leito
  • Sergei Yurchenko
  • Rene Freiberg
  • Anneli KruveEmail author
Evidence based environmental policy making


In this paper, we investigate the sample preparation and analysis process in order to achieve adequate results for surface water collected from rivers that flow through swamps and are consequently rich in organic matter. We show that matrix effects in glyphosate determination can be reduced by optimizing sample volume, liquid chromatography (LC) mobile phase buffer concentration and pH as well as gradient speed. Also, aspects of derivatization procedure (borate buffer concentration, fluorenylmethyloxycarbonyl chloride concentration) and their influence on accuracy are considered in detail. We encountered a cross-talk effect in the mass spectra, interfering with quantization during analysis, which was removed by optimizing MS parameters. As a result it was demonstrated that isotope-labelled internal standard with just one 13C atom is sufficient for the analysis.

All these aspects were found to strongly impact the accuracy of the glyphosate determination but have received little or no attention in earlier works. We propose a reliable solid phase extraction and LC/ESI/MS/MS method for determination of glyphosate in organic-rich waters and demonstrate that LoD can be decreased by about two times using an ESI nebulizer with a modified design.


Glyphosate Matrix effect Mass spectrometry Electrospray ionization Derivatization 



This work has been supported by the grant No. 8373 from the Estonian Science Foundation, by PUT 34 from the Estonian Research Council, by the Estonian National Research and Infrastructure development programme of measure 2.3 “Promotion of development activities and innovation” (Regulation No. 34) funded by the Estonian Enterprise foundation and by the institutional research grant IUT21-2 from the Estonian Ministry of Education and Science.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vahur Toss
    • 1
  • Ivo Leito
    • 1
  • Sergei Yurchenko
    • 2
  • Rene Freiberg
    • 3
  • Anneli Kruve
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute of ChemistryUniversity of TartuTartuEstonia
  2. 2.Institute of Veterinary Medicine and Animal SciencesEstonian University of Life SciencesTartuEstonia
  3. 3.Institute of Agricultural and Environmental SciencesEstonian University of Life SciencesTartuEstonia

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