Project Details Critical review of available methods to predict VOC emission potentials for pesticide formulations

Project No.: 
Start Date: 
01 July 2006
End Date: 
01 June 2011


Compile and critically evaluate current scientific knowledge onthe prediction of volatilization potential for both pesticide activeingredients and formulation components. Critically assess currentmethodologies and techniques used to develop volatilization potentialdata.


Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as pollutants are generally considered industrial or urban problems. Agricultural operations are now being scrutinized as sources of these pollutants. VOCs from pesticide formulations have been identified as potential contributors to ground-level ozone formation. Formulation products may contain a number of volatile and semi-volatile organic chemicals in addition to the active ingredient(s) that will be emitted from soil or plant surfaces at different rates. Furthermore, the reactivity of these components will vary significantly both in the atmosphere and soil compartments.

Currently, there is no standardized approach for predicting the emission potential for pesticide formulation products. Some regulatory agencies have adopted simple laboratory procedures to measure the volatile fraction of the formulation and thereby to calculate an emission potential. It is likely that a combination of laboratory measurements and emissions modeling will be required to more accurately predict the magnitude and character of emissions. The emissions models should take into account the physical-chemical properties of the components, and the interactions with soil and plant matrices.

In this project, a broad search of the scientific literature will be carried out to compile available analytical methods and modeling tools to predict the emission potential of pesticide active ingredients and formulation components. These methods will be critically evaluated by the project members. Current regulatory approaches used by various governments where these air quality issues are being addressed will also be critically evaluated. This project will result in an objective assessment of the current state of knowledge on this very relevant topic. Research gaps will be identified and recommendations for future research will be developed. IUPAC is the appropriate body to sponsor this research as this work will require significant expertise on basic chemical properties and environmental fate processes. This topic is also relevant on an international scale as urban and agricultural regions merge in many countries.


March 2009 – A presentation on air quality technologies has been added to the DCE symposium at the IUPAC Congress in Glasgow, 4 August 2009 > link to symposium info (convener Hemda Garelick)

March 2011 - Project completed – a report has been published in Atmospheric Environment 45 (2011) 2404-2412 [doi:10.1016/j.atmosenv.2011.02.015]