Novel Use of Chlorine Dioxide Granules as an Alternative to Methyl Bromide Soil Fumigation
Keywords:Chlorine Dioxide, Z-Series Granules, Soil Fumigation, Methyl Bromide Alternatives, Bacillus subtilis spores.
Two greenhouse studies were conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of chlorine dioxide (ClO2) granules as a soil fumigation alternative for methyl bromide. The objective of the first study was to determine the efficacy of chlorine dioxide granules to inactivate Bacillus subtilis spore samples placed in two soils and positioned at two soil depths in soil tubes. The objective of the second study was to measure ClO2 gas concentrations released over multiple days in the two soils. The granules were evenly distributed in the soils with datalogger/sensors positioned at two different locations (headspace and soil matrix). The first study achieved a maximum spore log10 reduction of 4.12 and 5.82 for play sand and mixed soil, respectively, for inoculated samples placed 8 cm deep in the soil tubes with a chlorine dioxide rate of 240 g/tube. There was a 21-fold increase in percent organic matter for the mixed soil when compared to the play sand soil. The increase in organic matter in the mixed soil resulted in a 1.7 log10 reduction decrease due to the absorption of the gas onto the organic matter. In the second study, chlorine dioxide was collected at the bottom of the soil instead of volatilizing into the headspace of the soil tube because it is denser than air. The ClO2 at the bottom of the soil was 3.95x and 3.8x higher than the headspace gas concentration for the mixed and play sand soil, respectively, as averaged over all test runs and periods. Both studies show that the chlorine dioxide granules are a promising alternative to soil fumigation with methyl bromide. Further research is needed to refine the granule formulation release rates and develop more economical application rates.
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