Reduction of environmental pollution incurred from pesticide use is very important. Zeolite is a natural mineral capable of removing certain chemical contaminants from water. This study was carried out to test the effect of zeolite treatment on pesticide residue alleviation in surface water. Ten surface water samples were treated with natural zeolite by filtering through. An EPA method was used to extract pesticide residue from the water samples and the surfactant used to modify the net charge on the zeolite was hexadecyltrimethylammonium chloride (HDTMA-Cl). Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry was used to analyze water samples. Alleviation was achieved in all the 10 water samples that were filtered through zeolite. The highest removal of pesticides from water with zeolite included 100% of bifenthrin in sample CLC, atrazine in BPH, CDG and LBT; metolachlor in CLC, LBT, BCH, TRH2 and BPI; acetolachlor in BBH and BCH; azoxystrobin in BBH; desethylatrazine in BCH and BPI; metribuzin in BCH, TRH2 and BPI; and both clomazone and bromacil in sample BDC. A minimum reduction of 10.9% was found for metolachlor in sample BRH. Further reduction of pesticide residues up to 50% was recorded in the SMZ treatment as the concentrations of 4 out of 8 pesticide residues were reduced. This study confirms the potential of both the natural zeolite-Clinoptilolite, and SMZ of alleviating pesticide residues in water.
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