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dc.contributor.advisorKookana, Rai S.en
dc.contributor.advisorSmernik, Ronald Josefen
dc.contributor.advisorChittleborough, David Jamesen
dc.contributor.authorForouzangohar, Mohsenen
dc.description.abstractThe fate and behaviour of hydrophobic organic compounds (e.g. pesticides) in soils are largely controlled by sorption processes. Recent findings suggest that the chemical properties of soil organic carbon (OC) significantly control the extent of sorption of such compounds in soil systems. However, currently there is no practical tool to integrate the effects of OC chemistry into sorption predictions. Therefore, the K [subscript]oc model, which relies on the soil OC content (foc), is used for predicting soil sorption coefficients (K[subscript]d) of pesticides. The K[subscript]oc model can be expressed as K[subscript]d = K[subscript]oc × foc, where K[subscript]oc is the OC-normalized sorption coefficient for the compound. Hence, there is a need for a prediction tool that can effectively capture the role of both the chemical structural variation of OC as well as foc in the prediction approach. Infrared (IR) spectroscopy offers a potential alternative to the K[subscript]oc approach because IR spectra contain information on the amount and nature of both organic and mineral soil components. The potential of mid-infrared (MIR) spectroscopy for predicting K[subscript]d values of a moderately hydrophobic pesticide, diuron, was investigated. A calibration set of 101 surface soils from South Australia was characterized for reference sorption data (K[subscript]d and K[subscript]oc) and foc as well as IR spectra. Partial least squares (PLS) regression was employed to harness the apparent complexity of IR spectra by reducing the dimensionality of the data. The MIR-PLS model was developed and validated by dividing the initial data set into corresponding calibration and validation sets. The developed model showed promising performance in predicting K[subscript]d values for diuron and proved to be a more efficacious than the K[subscript]oc model. The significant statistical superiority of the MIR-PLS model over the K[subscript]oc model was caused by some calcareous soils which were outliers for the K[subscript]oc model. Apart from these samples, the performance of the two compared models was essentially similar. The existence of carbonate peaks in the MIR-PLS loadings of the MIR based model suggested that carbonate minerals may interfere or affect the sorption. This requires further investigation. Some other concurrent studies suggested excellent quality of prediction of soil properties by NIR spectroscopy when applied to homogenous samples. Next, therefore, the performance of visible near-infrared (VNIR) and MIR spectroscopy was thoroughly compared for predicting both foc and diuron K[subscript]d values in soils. Some eleven calcareous soils were added to the initial calibration set for an attempt to further investigate the effect of carbonate minerals on sorption. MIR spectroscopy was clearly a more accurate predictor of foc and K[subscript]d in soils than VNIR spectroscopy. Close inspection of spectra showed that MIR spectra contain more relevant and straightforward information regarding the chemistry of OC and minerals than VNIR and thus useful in modelling sorption and OC content. Moreover, MIR spectroscopy provided a better (though still not great) estimation of sorption in calcareous soils than either VNIR spectroscopy or the K[subscript]oc model. Separate research is recommended to fully explore the unusual sorption behaviour of diuron in calcareous soils. In the last experiment, two dimensional (2D) nuclear magnetic resonance/infrared heterospectral correlation analyses revealed that MIR spectra contain specific and clear signals related to most of the major NMR-derived carbon types whereas NIR spectra contain only a few broad and overlapped peaks weakly associated with aliphatic carbons. 2D heterospectral correlation analysis facilitated accurate band assignments in the MIR and NIR spectra to the NMR-derived carbon types in isolated SOM. In conclusion, the greatest advantage of the MIR-PLS model is the direct estimation of Kd based on integrated properties of organic and mineral components. In addition, MIR spectroscopy is being used increasingly in predicting various soil properties including foc, and therefore, its simultaneous use for K[subscript]d estimation is a resource-effective and attractive practice. Moreover, it has the advantage of being fast and inexpensive with a high repeatability, and unlike the K[subscript]oc approach, MIR-PLS shows a better potential for extrapolating applications in data-poor regions. Where available, MIR spectroscopy is highly recommended over NIR spectroscopy. 2D correlation spectroscopy showed promising potential for providing rich insight and clarification into the thorough study of soil IR spectra.en
dc.subjectInfrared spectroscopy; Pesticide; Diuron; Soil sorption; Soil organic carbon; Chemometrics; Partial least squares; Two-dimensional correlation spectroscopyen
dc.titleInfrared spectroscopy and advanced spectral data analyses to better describe sorption of pesticides in soils.en
dc.contributor.schoolSchool of Earth and Environmental Sciencesen
dc.provenanceCopyright material removed from digital thesis. See print copy in University of Adelaide Library for full text.en
dc.description.dissertationThesis (Ph.D.) - University of Adelaide, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, 2009en
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