A Methyl Bromide Substitute for Agricultural Use
Methyl bromide is extremely important to United States and World agriculture (64,000,000 lbs. used in the U.S. in 1990), and is the most widely used and efficacious general-purpose fumigant in the world. It has extensive applications in soil fumigation, quarantine treatment of exports and imports, post-harvest commodity fumigation, and as a structural fumigant for wood-destroying organisms. Under the terms of the Montreal protocol of 1991 and subsequent amendments, and under current federal law, methyl bromide has been characterized as an ozone depleting chemical and thus will be phased out of production by the year 2001. Because of the great economic importance of methyl bromide, it is estimated that an equivalent substitute compound that meets the international ozone standards should have a market potential exceeding $2 to 3 billion in direct sales per annum, and should enhance crop production by approximately $5 to 10 billion.
University of California scientists have identified an alternative compound suitable for use as a methyl bromide substitute. The UC compound is comparable or superior to methyl bromide in efficacy on a molar basis, and has been proven effective in controlling a number of organisms including plant pathogenic fungi, nematodes, and weeds. It is expected to also be effective in the control of soil bacteria and insects. It is effective in the broad variety of application methods used for methyl bromide including tractor tines or manually in canisters. The UC compound has a higher solubility and lower vapor pressure than methyl bromide, making it less hazardous to workers. The UC compound is significantly more photolabile than methyl bromide, making it very unlikely to be involved in stratospheric ozone destruction.
US 5,753,183 [MORE INFO
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