Potential for abiotic reduction of pesticides in prairie pothole porewaters

Teng Zeng, Yu Ping Chin, William A. Arnold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations


Prairie pothole lakes (PPLs) are critical hydrological and ecological components of central North America and represent one of the largest inland wetland systems on Earth. These lakes are located within an agricultural region, and many of them are subject to nonpoint-source pesticide pollution. Limited attention, however, has been paid to understanding the impact of PPL water chemistry on the fate and persistence of pesticides. In this study, the abiotic reductive transformation of seven dinitroaniline pesticides was investigated in PPL sediment porewaters containing naturally abundant levels of reduced sulfur species (i.e., bisulfide (HS-) and polysulfides (Sn 2-)) and dissolved organic matter (DOM). Target dinitroanilines underwent rapid degradation in PPL porewaters and were transformed into corresponding amine products. While the largest fraction of the transformation could be attributed to reduced sulfur species, experimental evidence suggested that other reactive entities in PPL porewaters, such as DOM and mineral phases, might also affect the reaction rates of dinitroanilines. Results from this study highlight the importance of reductive transformation as an abiotic natural attenuation pathway for pesticides entering the PPL sedimentary environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3177-3187
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 20 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry


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