Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2011DC127B

Monitoring of Glyphosate and its Degradation of Residue by Phosphorus-31 Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy

Institute: District of Columbia
Year Established: 2011 Start Date: 2011-03-01 End Date: 2012-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $14,000 Total Non-Federal Funds: $6,440

Principal Investigators: Xueqing Song

Abstract: Glyphosate [N-(phosphonomethyl) glycine] is an extensively used post-emergence nonselective organophosphorus (OP) herbicide, used for the control of a wide variety of weeds. Due to its strong retention on soil components, high solubility in water and long half-life in the environment (about 47 days), glyphosate may still be detected long after application or even far from the site of application. However, because its effects on non-target organisms and overall environmental impact have not been fully investigated, questions should be addressed regarding the environmental safety, in light of its increasing use. The widespread application of glyphosate generates problems regarding environment contamination. Therefore, Knowledge about the persistency of glyphosate and its derivatives would be beneficial in the handling of contaminated dredged material, and it is essential to understand the speciation of these organophosphorous compounds to gain a better understanding of their interaction in soil and aquatic environment. The objectives of this project are to develop analytical method able to provide rapid, sensitive, easy and reliable detection of glyphosate and its degradation residue using NMR spectroscopy and to monitor glyphosate and its residues in soil and water samples collected from DC metropolitan area by using phosphorous-31 NMR spectroscopy. We propose to use 31P NMR spectroscopy, in an effort to eliminate the need for pre- or post-column derivatization procedures to improve both the chromatographic behavior and the detection ability by gas chromatography (GC) or high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The strength of NMR spectroscopy has been in characterization of the chemical structures, and in giving information about OP-compound degradation processes in the environment, as well as OP-compound metabolism in organisms. Because NMR is also a quantitative technique, it has been applied in quality control of the OP pesticides and other agrochemicals. Finally, NMR is nondestructive, meaning that the sample can be analyzed without consuming it during the process as happens with GCMS or LCMS techniques, and the sample can be stored after analysis for later studies. This project is also designed to involve undergraduate students at the University of the District of Columbia in research.