The Role of Natural Organic Matter in the Transport, Disposition and Binding of Atrazine

EPA Grant Number: R827589E02
Title: The Role of Natural Organic Matter in the Transport, Disposition and Binding of Atrazine
Investigators: Larive, Cynthia K. , Bhandari, Alok , Carper, W. Robert , Xia, Kang
Institution: Kansas State University , University of Kansas , Wichita State University
Current Institution: University of Kansas , Kansas State University , Wichita State University
EPA Project Officer: Chung, Serena
Project Period: June 1, 1999 through March 30, 2003
Project Amount: $169,613
RFA: EPSCoR (Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) (1998) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: EPSCoR (The Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research)


The overall objective of this research is to provide a molecular level understanding of the general biological, chemical and physical processes that determine the fate of atrazine in agricultural soils and the nature of its association with soil, sediment and aquatic organic matter. The results of these experiments will improve our general understanding of the fate and effects of anthropogenic organic compounds, using the disposition of atrazine in the Hillsdale Lake basin as a model system.


Soil samples and aquatic, sediment and water-soluble soil organic matter from throughout the Hillsdale Lake basin will be collected and characterized. The sorption, desorption and covalent attachment of atrazine to these materials will be studied by ultrafiltration, GC-MS, 14C-radiolabeling and NMR spectroscopic studies. Theoretical structural models will be built and used to predict the relative stability constants of the Hillsdale Lake organic matter complexes and to elucidate the nature of the atrazine-organic matter interactions.

Expected Results:

This research will help explain the observed enrichment of triazine pesticides by Hillsdale Lake. We expect that the organic matter derived from agriculture runoff will have significantly different chemical and physical properties from that derived from effluents of waste water treatment plants and lagoons. The sorption and desorption of atrazine to the organic matter and soil samples will elucidate the role of these materials in controlling the disposition, transport and bioavailability of atrazine within the Hillsdale Lake basin. The role of soil enzymes, redox active metals and the nutrients, phosphorous and nitrogen will also be examined. The NMR analysis of atrazine will both reinforce and complement the more traditional methods. NMR measurements of diffusion coefficients will provide information about the average size and polydispersity of the organic matter and the nature of the atrazine-organic matter interactions. By providing a molecular-level understanding of these interactions, this research will provide a scientific basis for the analysis of interactions of other anthropogenic organic pollutants with aquatic or soil organic materials.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 17 publications for this project

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this project: View all 7 journal articles for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

atrazine, NMR, sorption, nutrients, runoff., Scientific Discipline, Waste, Water, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, PESTICIDES, Environmental Chemistry, Contaminated Sediments, Fate & Transport, Ecology and Ecosystems, Pesticide Types, fate and transport, agricultural watershed, contaminated sediment, transport contaminants, agriculture runoff, computer modeling, natural organic matter, atrazine, agrochemicals

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 1999
  • 2000
  • 2001
  • Final Report