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Sorption, mineralization and mobility of N‐(phosphonomethyl)glycine (glyphosate) in five different types of gravel

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Sorption, mineralization and mobility of glyphosate were studied in six substrates: the five types of gravel most frequently used as surfacing in Denmark and a sandy agricultural soil from Simmelkær that served as a reference soil. Cumulative mineralization of [methyl14C]glyphosate in batch studies was highest in coarse gravel, amounting to 14% after 4 days at 30 °C and 32% after 31 days. Mineralization was slowest in the sandy reference soil, amounting to only 2% after 31 days. The adsorption coefficient (Kd) of glyphosate in gravel ranged from 62 to 164 litre kg−1, while that in the sandy reference soil was 410 litre kg−1. The results indicate that the relatively low Kd in gravel allows a relatively high rate of glyphosate mineralization by the biomass. When Kd is high, in contrast, mineralization is slow. Lowering the temperature to 10 °C decreased mineralization by 50% in one of two gravels. The leaching of glyphosate was screened in simple columns of gravel or soil in which precipitation events (20 mm over a 2‐h period) were simulated on three occasions, starting either immediately after or 2 days after application of glyphosate. [14C]Glyphosate was applied as a tracer mixed with the commercial product Roundup® Garden at the recommended rate of 2.4 kg glyphosate ha−1, equivalent to 1 µg g−1 soil. The highest concentration of [14C] compounds (expressed in terms of glyphosate concentration) in leachate from the columns exceeded 1300 µg litre−1, and was detected in rounded gravel after the first rain event. No glyphosate was detected in leachate from the sandy reference soil. Copyright © 2004 Society of Chemical Industry

Keywords: N‐(phosphonomethyl)glycine; glyphosate; gravel; mineralization; mobility; sorption

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Chemistry Department, Bülowsvej 17, DK-1870 Frederiksberg C, Denmark 2: Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, Department of Geochemistry, Øster Voldgade 10, DK-1350 Copenhagen K, Denmark

Publication date: 2004-06-01

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