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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Papiernik, Sharon
item Yates, Scott
item Gan, Jay
item Dungan, Robert - Rob
item Lesch, Scott
item Zheng, Wei
item Guo, Mingxin

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract only
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/14/2006
Publication Date: 9/14/2006
Citation: Papiernik, S.K., Yates, S.R., Gan, J., Dungan, R.S., Lesch, S.M., Zheng, W., Guo, M. 2006. Reducing fumigant emissions using surface tarps: Field and laboratory assessments [abstract]. American Chemical Society. 71:84.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Increasingly stringent regulations require that emissions of fumigants to the atmosphere be reduced to protect human and environmental health. Plastic tarps used to cover the soil surface during soil fumigation vary in their effectiveness as diffusion barriers. Virtually impermeable films (VIFs) have been developed that allow very little fumigant mass transfer across the film. Laboratory and field experiments were conducted to assess the permeability of polyethylene and VIF films to fumigant vapors and their effectiveness in reducing atmospheric emissions of fumigants. Results indicated that standard high-density polyethylene (HDPE) is relatively permeable to fumigant vapors, with the permeability increasing with increasing temperature. Cumulative fumigant emissions from soil tarped with HDPE are only slightly lower than emissions from bare soil. An intact VIF tarp can drastically reduce the maximum flux and cumulative emissions of fumigants from soil. Laboratory experiments indicated that VIFs reduced cumulative volatilization by at least 60% compared with 1-mil HDPE. Field trials showed similar results. However, in partially-covered fields (bare furrows in a bedded system), flux from untarped portions of the field contributed a large fraction of the total emissions.

Last Modified: 8/24/2016
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