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In-situ treatment of herbicide-contaminated groundwater - Feasibility study for the cases atrazine and bromacil using two novel nanoremediation-type materials

: Gawel, Alina; Seiwert, Bettina; Sühnholz, Sarah; Schmitt-Jansen, Mechthild; Mackenzie, Katrin


Journal of hazardous materials 393 (2020), Art. 122470
ISSN: 0304-3894
ISSN: 1873-3336
Fraunhofer UMSICHT Oberhausen ()
ISCR- and ISCO-based groundwater treatment; carbo-iron; Trap-Ox zeolites; reaction pathways; high-throughput screening diagnostic algae test (hts-DAT)

Two injectable reactive and sorption-active particle types were evaluated for their applicability in permeable reaction zones for in-situ removal of herbicides (“nanoremediation”). As model substances, atrazine and bromacil were used, two herbicides frequently occurring in groundwater. In order to provide recommendations for best use, particle performance was assessed regarding herbicide degradation and detoxification. For chemical reduction, Carbo-Iron® was studied, a composite material consisting of zerovalent iron and colloidal activated carbon. Carbo-Iron reduced bromacil with increased activity compared to nanoscale zerovalent iron (nZVI). The sole reaction product, 3-sec-butyl-6-methyluracil, showed 500-fold increase in half-maximal-effect concentration (EC50) towards the chlorophyte Scendesmus vacuolatus compared to the parent compound. The detoxification based on dehalogenation confirmed the dependency of the specific mode-of-action on the carbon-halide bond. For atrazine, neither nZVI nor Carbo-Iron showed significant degradation under the conditions applied. As novel subsurface treatment option, Trap-Ox® zeolite FeBEA35 was studied for generation of in-situ permeable oxidation barriers. Both adsorbed atrazine and bromacil underwent fast unselective oxidation. The transformation products of the Fenton-like reaction were identified, and oxidation pathways derived. For atrazine, a 300-fold increase in EC50 for S. vacuolatus was found over the duration of the reaction, and a loss of phytotoxicity to non-detectable levels for bromacil.