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An automatic field sampler utilising supported liquid membrane (SLM) for on-site extraction of s-triazine herbicides and degradation products: applied to an agricultural region of Ethiopia

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A portable and time-integrating field sampler based on the supported liquid membrane (SLM) extraction technique was constructed. Using two programmable syringe pumps and one programmable valve, the sampler could carry out automatic unattended extraction for up to seven extracts, combining the steps of sampling, trace enrichment and clean-up. The sampler was applied to the extraction of four s-triazine herbicides (atrazine, cyanazine, prometryn and terbutryn) and six major degradation products of s-triazines, including three dealkylated products (deethyl deisopropyl atrazine (DDA), deisopropyl atrazine DIA and deethyl atrazine (DEA)) and three hydroxylated products (hydroxy atrazine (ATOH), hydroxy propazine (PROH) and hydroxy terbutylazine (TZOH)). The donor solution was obtained by mixing sample and buffer, consisting of 1 M phosphate buffer at pH 7.0 and 1.7 M NaCl, in the ratio of 19 : 1 (v/v). Extraction was performed by continuously pumping 10 mL portions of donor along the SLM until 3 L of sample had been extracted. The SLM consisted of di-n-hexylether and the acceptor was 1 M HCl. After extract collection, extracts were neutralised with NaOH and buffered with phosphate. Extracts were analysed with HPLC, using a gradient elution consisting of 3.5 mM phosphate and acetonitrile and UV-detection at 220 nm. Enrichment factors in reagent water ranged from 1.3 (for DIA) to 2739 (for terbutryn). The developed field sampler was tested by carrying out 24-h time-weighted on-site extraction of the ten s-triazine target compounds in Hawassa Lake and its tributary river, located in the agricultural region of the Southern Rift Valley of Ethiopia. Atrazine, cyanazine and terbutryn were generally below the method detection limit, while prometryn was frequently found. Overall, s-triazines were not persistent in the studied environment and degradation products of s-triazines were found in higher concentrations than the parent herbicides in both the river and the lake.
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Keywords: automated sampling; degradation products; field sampler; liquid chromatography; on-site extraction; pesticides; s-triazines; supported liquid membrane

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Division of Analytical Chemistry,Lund University, PO Box 124, 221 00Lund, Sweden 2: Department of Chemistry,Addis Ababa University, PO Box 1176Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Publication date: August 20, 2011

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