Treatment of atrazine by integrating photocatalytic and biological processes

Environ Pollut. 2004 Sep;131(1):45-54. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2004.02.022.


This research examines the degradation of atrazine by photocatalytic oxidation (PCO) under different experimental conditions. Deisopropylatrazine, deethylatrazine and deethyldeisopropylatrazine were formed as major intermediates based on gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The reaction mixture was found to be toxic towards two bioassays, i.e. the Microtox and amphipods survival tests even when atrazine was completely degraded by PCO within 2 h under optimized conditions. The results indicate that adding H2O2 could significantly enhance the degradation of atrazine by PCO. Ammeline, ammelide and cyanuric acid (CA) became the major intermediates/products as detected by high performance liquid chromatography from 6th to the 40th h of PCO treatment. After 72 h PCO treatment, only CA was detectable in the reaction mixture. Further degradation of CA was carried out by a newly isolated CA-degrading bacterium, Sphingomonas capsulata. The photochemical pretreatment integrated with microbial degradation lead to the complete degradation and detoxification of atrazine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Atrazine / chemistry*
  • Biodegradation, Environmental
  • Herbicides / chemistry*
  • Light
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Sphingomonas / metabolism
  • Toxicity Tests
  • Water Purification / methods*


  • Herbicides
  • Atrazine