School of Natural and Environmental Sciences


Progress in Glyphosate quantification in environmental samples

N-Phosphonomethyl glycine (glyphosate) is one of the world’s most popular non-selective herbicides used for control of many grasses and broad-leafed weeds. Its impact on the environment is becoming more pertinent by the day - in 2015, an IARC report declared the potential carcinogenicity of glyphosate. The same properties that make it very effective also make simple methods for its determination and quantification difficult: relative high solubility in water, lack of a chromophore and ability to form complexes. Most of the several methods available for detecting glyphosate require tedious derivatization via long processes.

We seeka simple, robust and direct method for quantifying glyphosate, not its derivatives.  Luminescent lanthanide probes are being used in this work to form complexes with glyphosate, the response monitored by a change in emission spectrum. This method is being tested for glyphosate residues in river water, rice and wheat samples and will be extended to other samples.