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ARS Home » Plains Area » Manhattan, Kansas » Center for Grain and Animal Health Research » Stored Product Insect and Engineering Research » Research » Research Project #435269

Research Project: Movement of Fumigant in Grain Bulks

Location: Stored Product Insect and Engineering Research

Project Number: 3020-43440-010-005-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2018
End Date: Aug 31, 2023

The objectives of this project are to: (1) develop and validate computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models to predict fumigant transfer in grain storage structures and (2) formulate recommendations for economic-based best management practices for phosphine fumigation in grain storage structures to minimize the phosphine loss and reduce insect resistance to phosphine.

Computational fluid dynamics CFD modeling of gaseous fumigant dispersal in grain bulks can effectively reveal the detailed mechanisms of movement that result in failed fumigations, which are difficult or impossible to determine through experiments. Fumigation methods necessarily rely on various convection currents, diffusion mechanisms, and particle dynamics to distribute the gas. When those mechanisms are inadequate in any part of the treated space, the resulting low dosage causes failure of the treatment and survival of some targeted insects. Phosphine is the most widely used fumigant to control the insects in stored grain and grain-based products. But increasing reports of resistant insect populations are of major concern to grain storage facilities. In this project CFD models will be developed for different atmospheric conditions to account for the seasonal variations. CFD models will be validated on measuring the fumigant concentrations across the grain bulk. The outcomes of this project are anticipated to contribute to the preservation and efficacy of phosphine to control the insects in grain storage structures. The developed models will also serve as tools for grain storage managers in making decisions on fumigation practices.