Submitted to: Environmental Pollution
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 31, 2000
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Predicting agrochemical fate and transport in the environment is necessary to design agronomic practices that have minimal impact on surrounding ecosystems and biota. Models are used to make these predictions but the models do not consider the chemistry of pesticides or their interactions with soil and water components. This information is difficult to quantitate ebecause few methods have been available to study these interactions. Recen advances correlating pesticide chemical structure with observed behavior has proven to be effective. Several spectroscopic techniques have also shown promise. Recent work has demonstrated that these tools are invaluable in describing specific laboratory observations. Applying these techniques to field conditions will require in-depth studies of simpler compounds. These studies will provide background information that can be extrapolated to more complex chemical environments.
Understanding and quantifying the sorption of agrochemicals onto soils is essential to predict their fate and transport in the environment. While many correlations exist between partition coefficients of organic pollutants onto soils and the quantity of soil organic matter, only recent studies have revealed the importance of the nature of soil organic matter. In many instances, the polarity index (PI) O+N/C) of the organic sorbent should be considered. A regression of K solubility, and polarity index indicated that correlations between those properties and the extent of sorption are very specific to the pollutant class. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is widely used in routine structure elucidation of natural organic matter and other organic compounds, yet its application in the field of environmental sciences is relatively untapped. Recent work has proved NMR to be invaluable at identifying conformations and metabolites, interactions with soil constituents, reactivity, and heterogeneous catalytic processes of organic pollutants. Yet, before NMR can be applied to field conditions, in-depth studies must be conducted in simple chemical environments to provide background information that can be extrapolated to interpret interactions in more complex environments.