Photooxidation of herbicide amitrole in the presence of fulvic acid

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2018 Jul;25(21):20320-20327. doi: 10.1007/s11356-017-8580-x. Epub 2017 Feb 23.


Fulvic acid (Henan ChangSheng Corporation) photoinduced degradation of non-UVA-absorbing herbicide amitrole (3-amino-1,2,4-triazole, AMT) as a way for its removal from polluted water was investigated in details. It was shown that the main primary species generated by fulvic acid under UVA radiation, triplet state and hydrated electron, are not directly involved in the herbicide degradation. AMT decays in reactions with secondary intermediates, reactive oxygen species, formed in reactions of the primary ones with dissolved oxygen. Singlet oxygen is responsible for 80% of herbicide oxidation, and OH and O2-• radicals-for the remaining 20% of AMT. It was found that quantum yield of AMT photodegradation (ϕ 365nm) decreases linearly from 2.2 × 10-3 to 1.2 × 10-3 with the increase of fulvic acid concentration from 1.1 to 30 mg L-1. On the contrary, the increase of AMT concentration from 0.8 to 25 mg L-1 leads to practically linear growth of ϕ 365nm value from 1.8 × 10-4 to 4 × 10-3. Thus, the fulvic acid exhibits a good potential as UVA photooxidizer of organic pollutants sensitive to the singlet oxygen (ϕ 532nm(1O2) = 0.025 at pH 6.5).

Keywords: Amitrole; Fulvic acids; Herbicides; Photooxidation; Reactive oxygen species.

MeSH terms

  • Amitrole / chemistry*
  • Benzopyrans / chemistry*
  • Environmental Pollutants / chemistry*
  • Herbicides / chemistry*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Oxygen / chemistry
  • Photolysis*
  • Singlet Oxygen / chemistry*
  • Triazoles / chemistry
  • Ultraviolet Rays*


  • Benzopyrans
  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Herbicides
  • Triazoles
  • Singlet Oxygen
  • Oxygen
  • fulvic acid
  • Amitrole