Surfactants enhanced recovery of endosulfan from contaminated soils

Soil pollution due to hydrophobic organic compounds is a wide environmental problem. Extensive use of endosulfan in cotton and paddy to meet the needs of the growing population has led to contamination of soil and other ecosystems. Endosulfan is hydrophobic, highly toxic to aquatic and human population and persists in soil for more than a year. To overcome the problem of hydrophobicity and limited availability, surfactants play a major role in soil remediation. In the present study, the potential of non-ionic synthetic surfactants (Tween 80, Triton X-100) and biosurfactant (Surfactin produced by Bacillus subtilis) for enhancing the release of endosulfan from contaminated agricultural soils was evaluated using the batch method. Incorporation of the surfactant concentrations at above Criticle Miceller Concentration (0.5, 1 and 2 g/L) into soil enhances the release of endosulfan. Surfactin produced from Bacillus subtilis recorded maximum (91.5%) recovery. The observed order of recovery being surfactin > Tween 80 > Triton X-100. The result suggest that surfactants could help in the remediation of soils polluted by pesticides.

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