Abstract

Acid-base titrations and attenuated total reflectance-infrared (ATR-IR) spectroscopy of solutions containing Zn(NO3)2 and the herbicide 3-amino-1,2,4-triazole suggested that soluble complexes ZnL2+ and Zn(OH)L+ form, where L represents aminotriazole. Sorption experiments and modeling in systems containing K-saturated Wyoming (SWy-K) montmorillonite suggest that at low concentrations the aminotriazole sorbs primarily in cationic form via an ion-exchange mechanism. Sorption isotherms for aminotriazole are ‘s’-shaped, indicating a co-operative sorption mechanism as the concentration of the molecule increases. At higher concentrations, ATR-IR spectroscopy indicated the presence of cationic and neutral triazole molecules on the surface, while X-ray diffraction data suggest interaction with interlayer regions of the clay. When the concentration of the herbicide was high, initial sorption of aminotriazole cations modified the clay to make the partitioning of neutral molecules to the surface more favorable. Experiments conducted in the presence of Zn(II) indicated that below pH 7, Zn(II) and aminotriazole compete for sorption sites, while above pH 7 the presence of Zn(II) enhances the uptake of aminotriazole. The enhancement was attributed to the formation of an inner-sphere ternary surface complex at hydroxyl sites (SOH) on crystal edges, having the form [(SOZn(OH)L)]0.

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