A field experiment was conducted to study the effectiveness of a high-barrier plastic film (Hytibar) and reduced methyl bromide (MeBr) application dosages in decreasing MeBr emission from soil fumigation. Comparison was made with a conventional polyethylene film (PE) and a regular application rate. MeBr emission from nine small field plots was continuously measured with two replicated active chambers. Replicated soil cores were taken to a depth of 3 m to determine MeBr degradation and obtain a mass balance. Results indicated that about 64% of applied MeBr was lost to atmospheric emission when covered with the PE tarp. The emission was reduced to 37.5% when covered with the Hytibar tarp for 5 days. MeBr emission was virtually eliminated when covering with the Hytibar tarp for more than 10 days (only 1.1-3.2% loss). The low emission rate was verified from the degradation measurements which, along with the flux measurements produced nearly 100% mass balance. Combined use of a high-barrier plastic film such as the Hytibar with reduced application rates can significantly reduce MeBr atmospheric emission in soil fumigation.
Wang, D., Yates, S.R., Ernst, F.F., Gan, J. and Jury, W.A. 1997. Reducing methyl bromide emission with a high barrier plastic film and reduced dosage. Environmental Science and Technology 31:3686-3691.
Wang, D., Yates, S.R., Ernst, F.F., Gan, J., Gao, F. and Becker, O.J. 1997. Methyl bromide emission reduction with field management practices. Environmental Science and Technology 31:3017-3022.