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Carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis of atrazine and desethylatrazine at sub-microgram per liter concentrations in groundwater

Environmental degradation of organic micropollutants is difficult to monitor due to their diffuse and ubiquitous input. Current approaches—concentration measurements over time, or daughter-to-parent compound ratios—may fall short, because they do not consider dilution, compound-specific sorption cha... Full description

Journal Title: Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 2013, Vol.405(9), pp.2857-2867
Main Author: Schreglmann, Kathrin
Other Authors: Hoeche, Martina , Steinbeiss, Sibylle , Reinnicke, Sandra , Elsner, Martin
Format: Electronic Article Electronic Article
Language: English
Subjects:
ID: ISSN: 1618-2642 ; E-ISSN: 1618-2650 ; DOI: 10.1007/s00216-012-6616-0
Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00216-012-6616-0
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recordid: springer_jour10.1007/s00216-012-6616-0
title: Carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis of atrazine and desethylatrazine at sub-microgram per liter concentrations in groundwater
format: Article
creator:
  • Schreglmann, Kathrin
  • Hoeche, Martina
  • Steinbeiss, Sibylle
  • Reinnicke, Sandra
  • Elsner, Martin
subjects:
  • Compound-specific isotope analysis
  • Pesticides
  • Micropollutants
  • Field samples
  • On-column injection
ispartof: Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, 2013, Vol.405(9), pp.2857-2867
description: Environmental degradation of organic micropollutants is difficult to monitor due to their diffuse and ubiquitous input. Current approaches—concentration measurements over time, or daughter-to-parent compound ratios—may fall short, because they do not consider dilution, compound-specific sorption characteristics or alternative degradation pathways. Compound-specific isotope analysis (CSIA) offers an alternative approach based on evidence from isotope values. Until now, however, the relatively high limits for precise isotope analysis by gas chromatography—isotope ratio mass spectrometry (GC-IRMS) have impeded CSIA of sub-microgram-per-liter scale micropollutant concentrations in field samples. This study presents the first measurements of C and N isotope ratios of the herbicide atrazine and its metabolite desethylatrazine at concentrations of 100 to 1,000 ng/L in natural groundwater samples. Solid-phase extraction and preparative HPLC were tested and validated for preconcentration and cleanup of groundwater samples of up to 10 L without bias by isotope effects. Matrix interferences after solid-phase extraction could be greatly reduced by a preparative HPLC cleanup step prior to GC-IRMS analysis. Sensitivity was increased by a factor of 6 to 8 by changing the injection method from large-volume to cold-on-column injection on the GC-IRMS system. Carbon and nitrogen isotope values of field samples showed no obvious correlation with concentrations or desethylatrazine-to-atrazine ratios. Contrary to expectations, however, δ 13 C values of desethylatrazine were consistently less negative than those of atrazine from the same sites. Potentially, this line of evidence may contain information about further desethylatrazine degradation. In such a case, the common practice of using desethylatrazine-to-atrazine ratios would underestimate natural atrazine degradation.
language: eng
source:
identifier: ISSN: 1618-2642 ; E-ISSN: 1618-2650 ; DOI: 10.1007/s00216-012-6616-0
fulltext: fulltext
issn:
  • 1618-2650
  • 16182650
  • 1618-2642
  • 16182642
url: Link


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titleCarbon and nitrogen isotope analysis of atrazine and desethylatrazine at sub-microgram per liter concentrations in groundwater
creatorSchreglmann, Kathrin ; Hoeche, Martina ; Steinbeiss, Sibylle ; Reinnicke, Sandra ; Elsner, Martin
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subjectCompound-specific isotope analysis ; Pesticides ; Micropollutants ; Field samples ; On-column injection
descriptionEnvironmental degradation of organic micropollutants is difficult to monitor due to their diffuse and ubiquitous input. Current approaches—concentration measurements over time, or daughter-to-parent compound ratios—may fall short, because they do not consider dilution, compound-specific sorption characteristics or alternative degradation pathways. Compound-specific isotope analysis (CSIA) offers an alternative approach based on evidence from isotope values. Until now, however, the relatively high limits for precise isotope analysis by gas chromatography—isotope ratio mass spectrometry (GC-IRMS) have impeded CSIA of sub-microgram-per-liter scale micropollutant concentrations in field samples. This study presents the first measurements of C and N isotope ratios of the herbicide atrazine and its metabolite desethylatrazine at concentrations of 100 to 1,000 ng/L in natural groundwater samples. Solid-phase extraction and preparative HPLC were tested and validated for preconcentration and cleanup of groundwater samples of up to 10 L without bias by isotope effects. Matrix interferences after solid-phase extraction could be greatly reduced by a preparative HPLC cleanup step prior to GC-IRMS analysis. Sensitivity was increased by a factor of 6 to 8 by changing the injection method from large-volume to cold-on-column injection on the GC-IRMS system. Carbon and nitrogen isotope values of field samples showed no obvious correlation with concentrations or desethylatrazine-to-atrazine ratios. Contrary to expectations, however, δ 13 C values of desethylatrazine were consistently less negative than those of atrazine from the same sites. Potentially, this line of evidence may contain information about further desethylatrazine degradation. In such a case, the common practice of using desethylatrazine-to-atrazine ratios would underestimate natural atrazine degradation.
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descriptionEnvironmental degradation of organic micropollutants is difficult to monitor due to their diffuse and ubiquitous input. Current approaches—concentration measurements over time, or daughter-to-parent compound ratios—may fall short, because they do not consider dilution, compound-specific sorption characteristics or alternative degradation pathways. Compound-specific isotope analysis (CSIA) offers an alternative approach based on evidence from isotope values. Until now, however, the relatively high limits for precise isotope analysis by gas chromatography—isotope ratio mass spectrometry (GC-IRMS) have impeded CSIA of sub-microgram-per-liter scale micropollutant concentrations in field samples. This study presents the first measurements of C and N isotope ratios of the herbicide atrazine and its metabolite desethylatrazine at concentrations of 100 to 1,000 ng/L in natural groundwater samples. Solid-phase extraction and preparative HPLC were tested and validated for preconcentration and cleanup of groundwater samples of up to 10 L without bias by isotope effects. Matrix interferences after solid-phase extraction could be greatly reduced by a preparative HPLC cleanup step prior to GC-IRMS analysis. Sensitivity was increased by a factor of 6 to 8 by changing the injection method from large-volume to cold-on-column injection on the GC-IRMS system. Carbon and nitrogen isotope values of field samples showed no obvious correlation with concentrations or desethylatrazine-to-atrazine ratios. Contrary to expectations, however, δ 13 C values of desethylatrazine were consistently less negative than those of atrazine from the same sites. Potentially, this line of evidence may contain information about further desethylatrazine degradation. In such a case, the common practice of using desethylatrazine-to-atrazine ratios would underestimate natural atrazine degradation.
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abstractEnvironmental degradation of organic micropollutants is difficult to monitor due to their diffuse and ubiquitous input. Current approaches—concentration measurements over time, or daughter-to-parent compound ratios—may fall short, because they do not consider dilution, compound-specific sorption characteristics or alternative degradation pathways. Compound-specific isotope analysis (CSIA) offers an alternative approach based on evidence from isotope values. Until now, however, the relatively high limits for precise isotope analysis by gas chromatography—isotope ratio mass spectrometry (GC-IRMS) have impeded CSIA of sub-microgram-per-liter scale micropollutant concentrations in field samples. This study presents the first measurements of C and N isotope ratios of the herbicide atrazine and its metabolite desethylatrazine at concentrations of 100 to 1,000 ng/L in natural groundwater samples. Solid-phase extraction and preparative HPLC were tested and validated for preconcentration and cleanup of groundwater samples of up to 10 L without bias by isotope effects. Matrix interferences after solid-phase extraction could be greatly reduced by a preparative HPLC cleanup step prior to GC-IRMS analysis. Sensitivity was increased by a factor of 6 to 8 by changing the injection method from large-volume to cold-on-column injection on the GC-IRMS system. Carbon and nitrogen isotope values of field samples showed no obvious correlation with concentrations or desethylatrazine-to-atrazine ratios. Contrary to expectations, however, δ 13 C values of desethylatrazine were consistently less negative than those of atrazine from the same sites. Potentially, this line of evidence may contain information about further desethylatrazine degradation. In such a case, the common practice of using desethylatrazine-to-atrazine ratios would underestimate natural atrazine degradation.
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doi10.1007/s00216-012-6616-0
pages2857-2867
date2013-03