Electrochemical Behavior and Determination of the Insecticide Synergist Piperonyl Butoxide

Darren C. Coomber, Daryl J. Tucker, Alan M. Bond

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Piperonyl butoxide may be reversibly oxidized in acetonitrile at a glassy carbon electrode to a cation radical under short time scale voltammetric conditions, e.g., cyclic voltammetry when the potential scan rate is above 500 mV s-1. During longer time domain experiments, the cation radical decays in a rate-limiting heterolytic bond cleavage step and subsequent transfer of a second electron at the potential of the first process. Additionally, a second oxidation process develops at more positive potentials. One product isolated from the initial oxidation process in an almost quantitative yield, under controlled potential electrolysis conditions, is 6-n-propyl-1,3-benzodioxole-5-carboxaldehyde. This carboxaldehyde is oxidized at the same positive applied potential as the second oxidation process observed in long time domain voltammetric experiments with piperonyl butoxide. The limit of detection for piperonyl butoxide in acetonitrile, using differential pulse voltammetry at a glassy carbon electrode, is 1.6 × 10-6 M (3σ), with a limit of determination of 4.1 × 10-6 M (10σ). Piperonyl butoxide was selectively determined using differential pulse voltammetry with a concentration of 5.11 ± 0.02 g L-1 in a commercial insecticide formulation containing pyrethrins. This result is in good agreement with the manufacturer's stated concentration of 5.07 g L-1 . The sample preparation requires only simple dilution of the formulation in an acetonitrile/dichloromethane (95:5) solvent mixture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)898-903
Number of pages6
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1997

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