Interactions of sodium azide with triazine herbicides: Effect on sorption to soils

Benny Chefetz*, Keren Stimler, Michal Shechter, Yaron Drori

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Sodium azide (NaN3) is one of the biocides commonly used to inhibit microbial growth during sorption experiments. However, a few reports have suggested that NaN3 can react with the analyte of interest. In this study, the interactions of NaN3 with triazine herbicides were investigated and the effect of atrazine transformation on its sorption to soil was evaluated. The concentration of atrazine in the presence of NaN3 decreased significantly over period of time. After 14 days, only 38% of the initial atrazine concentration (10 mg l-1) was detected in a solution containing 1000 mg l-1 NaN3 at pH 5.5. The magnitude and the rate of atrazine transformation increased with increase in NaN3 load and with decrease in pH. In contrast to atrazine behavior, the concentrations of prometon and ametryn did not change during the experiment. GC/MS analysis indicated that the chlorine atom of atrazine is replaced by the azide group yielding 2-azido-4-(ethylamino)-6-(isopropylamino)-s-triazine. Atrazine transformation by NaN3 significantly affected sorption of herbicide to soil. The presence of NaN3 affects indirectly the sorption of atrazine due to competitive effect of its derivative. Our results demonstrated that the application of NaN3 as a biocide in sorption-desorption experiments must be carefully evaluated. This issue is vital for sorption experiments conducted over long periods of time or/and with concentration of NaN3 higher than 100 mg l-1.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)352-357
Number of pages6
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by a research Grant from BARD (No. IS-3385-03), the United States-Israeli Binational Agricultural Research and Development Fund.


  • 2-Azidoatrazine
  • Atrazine
  • Sodium azide
  • Sorption
  • Transformation


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