Accelerated remediation of pesticide-contaminated soil with zerovalent iron

P. J. Shea, T. A. Machacek, S. D. Comfort

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


High pesticide concentrations in soil from spills or discharges can result in point-source contamination of ground and surface waters. Cost-effective technologies are needed for on-site treatment that meet clean-up goals and restore soil function. Remediation is particularly challenging when a mixture of pesticides is present. Zerovalent iron (Fe 0) has been shown to promote reductive dechlorination and nitro group reduction of a wide range of contaminants in soil and water. We employed Fe 0 for on-site treatment of soil containing >1000 mg metolachlor, >55 mg alachlor, >64 mg atrazine, >35 mg pendimethalin, and >10 mg chlorpyrifos kg -1. While concentrations were highly variable within the windrowed soil, treatment with 5% (w/w) Fe 0 resulted in >60% destruction of the five pesticides within 90 d and increased to >90% when 2% (w/w) Al 2(SO 4) 3 was added to the Fe 0. GC/MS analysis confirmed dechlorination of metolachlor and alachlor during treatment. Our observations support the use of Fe 0 for ex situ treatment of pesticide-contaminated soil. Zerovalent iron promotes pesticide degradation in highly contaminated soil.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-188
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 2004


  • Chloroacetamide
  • Dinitroaniline
  • Organophosphate
  • Triazine
  • Zerovalent iron

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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