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International Journal of Photoenergy
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 542783, 8 pages
Research Article

Photostabilization of Phenoxyacetic Acid Herbicides MCPA and Mecoprop by Hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin

1Departamento de Engenharia Química, Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto (ISEP), Instituto Politécnico do Porto, Rua Dr. António Bernardino de Almeida 431, 4200-072 Porto, Portugal
2CIQ/Departamento de Química e Bioquímica, Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade do Porto, 4169-007 Porto, Portugal

Received 31 May 2013; Accepted 6 August 2013

Academic Editor: Hongtao Yu

Copyright © 2013 Cátia Costa et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


New strategies to reduce the environmental and economic costs of pesticides use are currently under study. Microencapsulation has been used as a versatile tool for the production of controlled release agricultural formulations. In this study, the photochemical degradation of the herbicides MCPA and mecoprop has been investigated in different aqueous media such as ultrapure and river water under simulated solar irradiation. To explore the possibility of introducing cyclodextrins in the herbicide formulations, the photodegradation study of the inclusion complexes of MCPA and mecoprop with (2-hydroxypropyl)-β-cyclodextrin (HP-β-CD) was also performed. The half-lives of MCPA and mecoprop inclusion complexes were increased approximately by a factor of three related to the free molecules. Additionally, it has been shown that the photodegradation of MCPA and mecoprop is influenced by their structural features. The additional methyl group existing in mecoprop molecular structure has a positive influence on the stabilization of the radical intermediate formed in the first stage of photodegradation of both herbicides. The results found indicated that MCPA and mecoprop form inclusion complexes with HP-β-CD showing higher photostability compared to free herbicides indicating that HP-β-CD may serve as ingredient in these herbicide formulations.