Pyrethrins and Piperonyl Butoxide Adsorption to Soil Organic Matter

George F. Antonious, Gayatri A. Patel, John C. Snyder, Mark S. Coyne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The adsorption and mobility of pyrethrins (Pys), the major insecticidal components obtained from the pyrethrum daisy Tanacetum cinerariifolium, and piperonyl butoxide (PBO), a pyrethrum synergist, were determined in soil using batch-equilibrium and reverse-phase thin-layer chromatographic techniques. Two soil management practices were used, soil mixed with yard waste compost (COM) at 50 t acre-1 on dry weight basis and no-mulch (NM) bare soil. Adsorption isotherm experiments were carried out using known concentrations of Pys (Py-I and Py-II) and PBO mixed with known amounts of COM or NM soil at constant temperature and pressure until equilibrium was attained. Pys and PBO in soil extracts were purified and concentrated using solid-phase extraction cartridges containing C18-octadecyl bonded silica. Pys and PBO residues were quantified using a high-performance liquid chromatograph equipped with a UV detector. Adsorption studies showed that compost amended soil adsorbed more Pys and PBO than native (NM) soil. Py-I adsorption was greater than Py-II and PBO. Adsorption of Pys and PBO to humic and fulvic acids was also studied by reverse-phase thin layer chromatography (RPTLC). Results indicated that humic acid, a significant component of organic matter, reduced Pys and PBO mobility. Pys and PBO mobility decreased as the concentration of humic acid in the mobile phase increased.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-32
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Environmental Science and Health - Part B Pesticides, Food Contaminants, and Agricultural Wastes
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2004

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank TR Brown and CM Lee for their assistance in soil sampling and field experiment. This investigation was supported by two grants from the USDA/ CSREES to Kentucky State University under agreements No. KYX-9803027 and No. KYX-10-99-33P.


  • Adsorption
  • Batch-equilibrium
  • Mobility
  • Pyrethrum
  • Reverse-phase TLC
  • Soil organic matter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Pollution


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