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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Morris, Minnesota » Soil Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #238131

Title: Plastic Films for Soil Fumigation: Permeability and Emissions Reduction

item Schneider, Sharon
item Yates, Scott

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/20/2009
Publication Date: 8/20/2009
Citation: Papiernik, S.K., Yates, S.R. 2009. Plastic Films for Soil Fumigation: Permeability and Emissions Reduction [abstract]. American Chemical Society. 77:137-138.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Soil fumigation is being increasingly regulated to protect human and environmental health. Current California regulations are based on field data and, in effect, assume that use of a standard polyethylene tarp does not reliably reduce emissions. Plastic tarps used to cover the soil surface during soil fumigation vary in their effectiveness as diffusion barriers. A robust method to measure the permeability of plastic films is needed to develop management practices that consistently restrict fumigant emissions and improve policies regulating soil fumigation. We propose a simplified method to quantify film permeability using the mass transfer coefficient, which is a characteristic of a film-fumigant combination independent of the concentration gradient across the film. We will summarize a number of laboratory experiments to determine the mass transfer coefficients of polyethylene and low-permeability films to fumigant vapors and field studies to determine the effectiveness of plastic films in reducing atmospheric emissions of fumigants.