Association of the Fungicide Propiconazole with Size Fractionated Material from a Silty Clay Soil – S.E. Norway
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Eroded soil material may be an important transporting agent for pesticides that are strongly sorbed to soil. The abilityof the fungicide propiconazole to interact with colloidal andparticulate materials has been studied by means of sorptionand desorption experiments. Size separation of silty clay soilfrom Mørdre, Norway and subsequent characterization showedthat different size fractions of soil possessed different physical and chemical properties and, therefore, different capacity to associate with propiconazole. A large part of the soil organic carbon was associated with coarser material (2–0.02 mm), which also showed higher affinity towards propiconazole than for smaller size fractions (<20 and <2 μm). Similar Koc values (2306 and 2244) for the size fractions <2 and <20 μm indicate that organic carbon played a dominant role in the sorption of propiconazole. Furthermore, organic carbon associated with these size fractions seemed to have similar properties withrespect to binding of propiconazole. Although, poor in organiccarbon (0.4%), the smallest size fraction (<2 μm) had higher sorption capacity for propiconazole compared to the medium size fraction (<20 μm). Higher sorption for the smallest size fraction (<2 μm) is probably due to higherspecific surface area, cation exchange capacity and content of Fe/Al oxides (free, organically bound and amorphous oxides) than the other size fractions. Results from the desorption experiments indicate that a part of propiconazole associates with sites in the soil material that resist desorption. Fluvialsediments originating from propiconazole treated fields may, therefore, represent potential reservoirs of propiconazole.Treatment with H2O2 modified the sorption/desorptioncharacteristics of the soil beyond that which could be expectedsimply by the removal of organic material. The pH values for all the size fractions decreased, and the specific surface areaof the medium sized fraction (<20 μm) increased from 14 to 19 m2 g-1 after the treatment with H2O2,probably due to disruption of the aggregate structure. Carrying out fractionation and separation procedures, it is important to be aware of physical and chemical changes that areintroduced during the different steps. An effort should be made to develop fractionation methods that keep the original characteristics of the soil material as intact as possible.
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