Stability of Parathion on Attapulgite as Affected by Structural and Hydration Changes1

Zev Gerstl and Bruno Yaron
Division of Soil Residues Chemistry, Institute of Soils and Water ARO, Volcani Center, P.O. Box 6, Bet Dagan, Israel
1 Contribution 240-E, 1980 series.

Abstract: The structure and hydration status of attapulgite clay after heating at elevated temperatures and the stability of parathion on these clays was studied. Using infrared spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy it was found that the bound water was lost in two steps, at 250° and 450° with the first step being largely reversible. At 650°C the structure began to dissolve releasing significant amounts of Mg, and a decrease in aggregate porosity was noted. At 850°C an amorphous phase was formed bearing little resemblance to the original attapulgite. Parathion was stable on all of the preheated clays when kept at 25°C for 190 days. The reactions of parathion on the preheated clays was studied at 110°C Hydrolysis of parathion was found to be minimal. Isomerization was the main reaction occurring on the Ca-attapulgite, whereas on an organo-clay no isomerization was observed. A mechanism for the isomerization reaction is proposed which entails a distortion of the phosphate moiety of the pesticide by the oxygen of the ligand water resulting in the conformational changes necessary for the isomerization to take place. On the organo-clay such a conformation was not possible; hence no isomerization occurred.

Key Words: Attapulgite • Dehydration • Infrared spectroscopy • Isomerization • Parathion • Scanning electron microscopy • Thermal treatment

Clays and Clay Minerals; February 1981 v. 29; no. 1; p. 53-59; DOI: 10.1346/CCMN.1981.0290108
© 1981, The Clay Minerals Society
Clay Minerals Society (www.clays.org)