The adsorption and photolysis of the herbicide bensulfuron-methyl [2-(4, 6-dimethoxypyr-imidin-2-carbamoylsulfamoyl)-o-toluic acid methyl ester] on homoionic Na+-, Ca2+- and Fe3+-montmorillonite and kaolinite clays were studied. The Freundlich adsorption coefficient, Kf, measured from isotherms on clays followed the order Na+ < Ca2+ < Fe3+. Montmorillonite showed a greater adsorptive capacity than kaolinite. Analysis of Fourier transform infrared spectra of bensulfuron-methyl adsorbed on clay suggested probable bonding interactions between bensulfuron-methyl and homoionic clays. The photolysis rate of herbicide adsorbed on homoionic clay surfaces was quite slow to its free state and decreased in the order Na+ > Ca2+ > Fe3+, indicating that adsorption may have prevented photolysis.

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