Assessment of silicone polymer composites for the trace extraction of herbicides : a tool for environmental forensics

Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Forensic Science

First Advisor's Name

Piero Gardinali

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Yong Cai

Third Advisor's Name

Kenneth Furton

Fourth Advisor's Name

Stephen Winkle

Date of Defense



Passive samplers are not only a versatile tool to integrate environmental concentrations of pollutants, but also to avoid the use of live sentinel organisms for environmental monitoring. This study introduced the use of magnetic silicone polymer composites (Fe-PDMS) as passive sampling media to pre-concentrate a wide range of analytes from environmental settings. The composite samplers were assessed for their accumulation properties by performing lab experiments with two model herbicides (Atrazine and Irgarol 1051) and evaluated for their uptake properties from environmental settings (waters and sediments). The Fe-PDMS composites showed good accumulation of herbicides and pesticides from both freshwater and saltwater settings and the accumulation mechanism was positively correlated with the log Kow value of individual analytes. Results from the studies show that these composites could be easily used for a wide number of applications such as monitoring, cleanup, and/or bioaccumulation modeling, and as a non-intrusive and nondestructive monitoring tool for environmental forensic purposes.



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