Construction of a reactive surface barrier to reduce fumigant 1,3-dichloropropene emissions

Wei Zheng, Sharon K. Papiernik, Mingxin Guo, Robert S. Dungan, Scott R. Yates

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Halogenated fumigants have been used extensively in production agriculture to control soilborne pests. These types of pesticides are highly volatile and are prone to affect air quality and imperil public health. In the present study, a chemical tarp approach, termed a reactive surface barrier (RSB), was developed to reduce the emission of fumigant 1,3-dichloropropene (1,3-D) from the soil surface. The agrochemicals thiourea and allylthiourea were tested as active reagents for the construction of a RSB, where these soil amendments react with 1,3-D to form nonvolatile isothiuronium ions at the soil surface and, thereby, impede fumigant emission into the atmosphere. The feasibility of the method largely depends on the reactivity of 1,3-D and the RSB agrochemicals in soil as well as on the mobility, persistence, and toxicity of the transformation products. Therefore, the reaction kinetics and transformation mechanism of 1,3-D by thiourea and allylthiourea were studied comprehensively in aqueous solution and soil. A catalytic process occurring at the surface of soil colloids facilitated the reaction between 1,3-D and thiourea in amended soils. The rate of 1,3-D transformation in thiourea-amended soil increased with decreasing soil moisture or increasing thiourea amendment level. In a field trial, a thiourea RSB reduced cumulative 1,3-D emissions by more than 80% relative to that in bare soil surface. The present results clearly indicate that this chemical remediation technology has great potential to control the emissions of volatile halogenated organic contaminants and to mitigate atmospheric pollution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1867-1874
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • 1,3-Dichloropropene
  • Atmospheric emission
  • Chemical remediation
  • Fumigant
  • Reactive surface barrier

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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