Research Projects

Project at a Glance

Title: Reducing emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from agricultural soil fumigation.

Principal Investigator / Author(s): Yates, Scott R.

Contractor: UC Riverside

Contract Number: 05-351

Research Program Area: Emissions Monitoring & Control, Atmospheric Processes

Topic Areas: Agriculture, Monitoring, Stationary Sources


Field experiments were conducted to measure subsurface movement and volatilization of the Telone (1,3-dichloropropene,1,3-D alone or with chloropicrin) after shank injection into agricultural soil.

The goal of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of several emission-reduction methods, including: sprinkler irrigation, organic amendment, deep injection, and fertilizer amendment on the volatilization of 1,3-D, alone or with chloropicrin, to the atmosphere.

Several methods were used to estimate fumigant volatilization rates and total emission losses, including: aerodynamic, integrated horizontal flux, theoretical profile shape, and back-calculation methods. These methods provide estimates of the volatilization rate based on measurements of wind speed, temperature and 1,3-D concentration in the atmosphere.

During the 2005 experiment, the volatilization rate was measured continuously for 16 days and the daily peak volatilization rates ranged from 1860 g m-2 s-1 (1015% of applied Telone II) for the irrigated field and 423 g m-2 s-1 1 (38% of applied Telone II) for the field amended with organic matter.

During the 2007 experiment, the volatilization rates ranged from 1230 g m-2 s-1 (11 23% of applied Telone C-35) for the standard fumigation; 1334 g m-2 s-1 (1017% of applied Telone C-35) for deep injection fumigation; and 720 g m-2 s-1 (918% of applied Telone C-35) for a field amended with ammonium thiosulfate. For all fields, very low (i.e. < 2%) emissions of chloropicrin were observed.

Intermittent irrigation reduced total emissions by 4570% and adding composted municipal green waste reduced total emissions by 8085% compared to conventional fumigant applications. For deep injection and spraying the surface with ammonium thiosulfate (ATS) only a 20% reduction in emissions was observed.

Significant reduction in volatilization of 1,3-D was observed for the irrigation and organic matter treatments, but smaller reduction in emissions were observed for deep injection and ATS amendment in a surface spray (i.e., without surface irrigation).


For questions regarding this research project, including available data and progress status, contact: Heather Choi at (916) 322-3893

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