Occurrence of herbicides in the aquatic environment and their removal using advanced oxidation processes: a critical review


Herbicides are chemicals used globally to kill unwanted plants so as to obtain high agricultural yields and good agricultural products. Herbicides are sometimes transported from the farmlands into water bodies mainly through runoffs. These chemicals are recalcitrant, and their accumulation is hazardous to abiotic and biotic components of the ecosystem. At present, the best alternative technology for elimination of herbicides in water is the usage of advanced oxidation processes (AOPs). The AOPs, which are performed homogeneously or heterogeneously, are capable of breaking down complex pollutants in water into carbon dioxide and mineral compounds. In these processes, ·OH is produced and used for degradation process. It is recommended that the total organic carbon (TOC) produced during degradation reaction be monitored because the ‧OH produced or generated can react to form intermediates before complete mineralisation is achieved. Different kinds of AOPs for degradation of herbicides have their specific advantages as well as limitations. This report shows that AOPs are excellent techniques for degradation of herbicides in aqueous solutions, and the mechanisms showed that herbicides were mineralised. The amount and type of photocatalysts, pH of the medium, surface characteristics of the photocatalysts, doping of the photocatalysts, temperature of the medium, concentration of herbicides, presence of competing ions, intensity and irradiation period, and type of oxidants have great influence on the degradation of herbicides in water. Overall, this report showed that most AOPs could not completely degrade herbicides in water and complete degradation can be achieved by developing novel and robust AOPs that will completely mineralise herbicides in water-this will pave way for water and environmental safety.

Authors: Ifeoluwa O Daramola, Mike O Ojemaye, Anthony I Okoh, Omobola O Okoh
; Full Source: Environmental geochemistry and health 2022 Jul 7. doi: 10.1007/s10653-022-01326-5.