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ARS Home » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #202468


item Vaughn, Steven
item Holser, Ronald

Submitted to: Industrial Crops and Products
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/8/2007
Publication Date: 5/1/2007
Citation: Vaughn, S.F., Holser, R.A. 2007. Evaluation of biodiesels from several oilseed sources as environmentally-friendly contact herbicides. Industrial Crops and Products 26(1):63-68.

Interpretive Summary: Biodiesel is a renewable fuel derived from vegetable oils such as soybean oil. Biodiesel is much lower in toxicity to humans than traditional diesel fuel. Fuel oils such as diesel have been used in the past as contact herbicides to control a wide variety of weeds. In the current study, we have found that biodiesels, when formulated with the proper surfactants, injured or killed several broadleaf weeds while not harming perennial ryegrass, a commonly-grown cool season turfgrass. Because of their low cost and low environmental impact, biodiesels could be potentially used to control broadleaf weeds in turfgrasses and other high value crops.

Technical Abstract: Postemergence contact herbicidal activities of biodiesels from several oilseed sources were examined for potential use to control broadleaf weeds in turfgrasses. Cuphea, lesquerella, meadowfoam, milkweed, and soybean oils were applied as 1 and 2 % (v/v) aqueous emulsions plus a nonionic surfactant to 2-week-old seedlings of perennial ryegrass, velvetleaf and sicklepod in the greenhouse. All five biodiesels were more phytotoxic to sicklepod and velvetleaf than to perennial ryegrass. Several different surfactants were tested together as emulsions with 1% soybean biodiesel, with Triton X-100 being the most effective. These results indicate that biodiesels may be useful as environmentally-friendly contact herbicides in turfgrasses.