Project at a Glance

Title: Development of emission factors for reactive hydrocarbons used in pesticide formations

Principal Investigator / Author(s): Roberts, R. M.

Contractor: KVB, Inc.

Contract Number: A8-124-31

Research Program Area: Emissions Monitoring & Control

Topic Areas: Stationary Sources, Toxic Air Contaminants


A program was conducted to determine the amounts of hydrocarbons emitted when selected pesticides are applied to various substrates. An initial laboratory effort was made to establish the relative evaporation rates of 20 test materials under different environmental conditions. Selection of the test candidates, 12 petroleum-based, six synthetics, diesel oil #2 and a reference oil (dodecane), was based on usage within the state.

In subsequent field tests, four of the more volatile, predominantly petroleum products and DEF-6 were applied at appropriate coverage rates. Since drift could not be successfully monitored, emissions resulting from that effect could not be included. Using continuous measurement technique, emissions could only be measured when carrot oil was applied. The results demonstrated that the test configuration employed was not sufficiently sensitive to adequately characterize the volatilization of pesticides under field conditions. With the test arrangement employed, the hydrocarbon concentrations of most pesticides evaporated in the field chamber were below detectable levels and could not be successfully monitored, against a (smog) background of several ppmc. The additional hydrocarbons that were undoubtedly released can only be quantified by more sensitive test techniques. Also included in the study was consideration of techniques for reducing drift and otherwise minimizing volatilization of applied pesticides.

For questions regarding this research project, including available data and progress status, contact: Research Division staff at (916) 445-0753

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