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Friday, August 16, 2013

Thailand develops chemical-free pest eradication

  Mat Bihi       Friday, August 16, 2013
SAMUT PRAKAN, July 17

Thailand's Science and Technology Ministry unveiled an innovation in rice weevil eradication using nitrogen, a new chemical-free and environmentally-friendly method.

A project on post-harvest pest eradication systems using nitrogen was jointly developed by the National Innovation Agency (NIA) and two private companies -- Siam Water Flame and Capital Rice -- aiming to be an alternative for safe pest control without chemical residues.

Minister Phiraphan Phalusuk said the system has a high safety level and is able to replace the methyl bromide and phosphine currently used for rice fumigation by several rice mills.

The innovation is based on the idea of oxygen level reduction in the atmosphere in order that the pests breathe faster and die.

The research team designed an enclosure with vapour impermeable materials and evaporated oxygen from the enclosure storing milled rice. Then the team replaced the air with only concentrated nitrogen in the room. 

The new method is found to have killed rice weevils in seven days.

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