FUMIGANTS
MEBROM® - Methyl Bromide

What is Methylbromide?

  • Methyl bromide, a natural product.

    Methyl Bromide is a colourless, odourless gas that is mainly produced by nature (oceans, rice fields, etc.). As nature also absorbs Methyl Bromide, there is a constant natural cycle of the gas.

  • Methyl bromide made by man.

    A very small part of all methyl bromide is made by humans. It is generally acknowledged as the "gold standard" of persticides for agricultural use (plant protection agents) and for desinfestations of containers, silo's, mills, grain carriers, ... It is stored as a liquid under pressure in cylinders; but because of its low boiling point (3.6 °C) it turns into a gas when it is released from the cylinder.
    It is non-flammable, spreads fast, penetrates quickly and is very effective (full effect 24h. after gassing). It destroys fungi, nematodes, weeds and insects in any stage of life (egg, larva, pupa, adult).
    Obviously by definition it concerns a toxic product, which however has been on the market since 1932 and is exclusively used by professionals who, as a result of years of experience, are very familiar with it and who know perfectly well how to handle it. Because of its relative ease of handling and continuous support from manufacturers and distributors, standard procedures and strict safety measures are complied with. A a consequence, accidents are rare.


    FORMULATIONS AND PACKAGING

    MEBROM® sells methyl bromide in cans with content of 1 lb and 1,5 lb, and in steel cylinders of 20 – 50 – 100kg.


    ProductCompositionPacking
    Methyl bromide %Chloropicrin %Amylacetate %CansCylinders
    1 lb1.5 lb20 kg50 kg100 kg
    MEBROM 100 100  
    MEBROM AA99.7 0.3  
    MEBROM 98982 
    MEBROM 75/257525   
    MEBROM 67/336733   
    MEBROM 50/505050   



    WHERE AND HOW IS METHYLBROMIDE USED?


    Methyl Bromide is used for three main purposes:


    i. Soil fumigant: mechanised injection or manual surface treatment

    Fumigating soil before planting high value crops such as tomatoes, peppers, melons, strawberries, flowers and tobacco. Soil fumigation is carried out prior to planting where crop productivity may be compromised by soilborne pests such as plant pathogenic fungi, nematodes, soil insects or weeds.

    Depending on the type of application and the local soil, between 35%-60% of the Methyl Bromide is emitted to the atmosphere at the end of the fumigation when the sheets are removed, often 24 to 72 hours later, as is the case with strawberry production. In the case of row (bed) fumigation, as is the case with tomato production, the traps are left on for the entire growing season, some 60 to 120 days.

    Injection technique.

    Methyl Bromide gas, approximately 40-120 grammes per m², is injected into the soil at a depth of around 20-25 centimeter before a crop is planted. This will effectively sterilize the soil, killing the vast majority of soil pests. Immediately after the Methyl Bromide is injected, the soil is covered with plastic sheets glued together, which slow the movement of Methyl Bromide from the soil to the atmosphere. Another system of mechanised injection is ‘deep injection’ (depth around 80 cm, without plastic sheet covering).

    For surface applications or the so-called ‘Hot gas method’

    The area to be treated is covered with plastic sheeting and the liquid Methyl Bromide from cylinders is heated up in a heat exchanger, and as gas released into the space between the soil surface and the sheets. Worldwide, except for the USA, this is the principal method of application.


    ii. In commodities:

    Fumigating of commodities which may be infested with pests when harvested or later. The use of Methyl Bromide in this context is often necessary to meet quarantine and phytosanitary or other contractual requirements for import and export.

    Methyl Bromide can be used to fumigate:

    Durable commodities like grains, coffee and cacao beans, oil seeds, dried fruit, herbs, nuts, timber, cottonseed, wooden items.

    Perishable commodities like fruit, vegetables, flowers. Food safety and health regulations are often requiring these fumigations.

    Methyl Bromide gas is released as a vapourised gas or directly from its container into a fumigation chamber or under a tarp containing the commodities. Some commodities are treated multiple times during both storage and shipment.

    Methyl Bromide is typically applied directly from the cylinder through a narrow bore application line culminating in an atomising jet to enhance the speed of vaporisation the fumigant.

    Commodities may be treated with Methyl Bromide as part of a quarantine or phytosanitary requirement of an importing country.

    The amount of Methyl Bromide introduced is calculated according to label, contractual and legislative requirements.

    The degree of containment of Methyl Bromide achieved during fumigation can vary widely. Some commodities are fumigated in gastight, purpose build fumigation chambers while others are treated in very poorly sealed bagged stacks.


    iii. In structures and transport:

    Methyl Bromide is used to safeguard buildings, such as grain storage facilities, flour mills, food processing units, or vehicles, such as ships, freight containers, trucks or trains carrying agricultural commodities from all kinds of pests.

    Also here the degree of containment of Methyl Bromide can vary widely. E.g. Some aircraft and modern buildings can be very gastight whereas older structures can at best be only partially sealed.


    Approximate dosage rates for various commodities

    The doses are sufficient for normal circumstances. If the temperature falls beneath 20 °C, increase the dose with 2% per degree centigrade. The output diminishes a lot for a temperature below 10 °C. As a result, it is not advised to use Methyl bromide in that case.

    Because of the danger involved in handling methyl bromide this product is not free on sale in various countries but can be supplied to companies or persons approved by the Governamental Authorities concerned. Growers must be strictly comply with the instructions given by the fumigating contractors.

    product to be
    treated
    dosesduration of treatment

    fruit trees
    plants
    strawberries
    tobacco
    tomatoes
    greenhouses
    mushrooms
    hen-houses
    cereals
    fruits
    potatoes
    vegetables

    400 lbs/acre
    850 lbs/acre
    240 lbs/acre
    850 lbs/acre
    240 lbs/acre
    3 lbs/1000Cu.ft.
    2 lbs/1000Cu.ft.
    3 lbs/1000Cu.ft.
    3 lbs/1000Cu.ft.
    3.5 lbs/1000Cu.ft.
    3 lbs/1000Cu.ft.
    3.25 lbs/1000Cu.ft.
    48 h
    24 h
    48 h
    24 - 48 h
    48 h
    4 - 24 h
    24 h
    24 h
    24 h
    2 h
    6 h
    4 h




    MEBROM® - Methyl bromide alternatives

    MEBROM® is actively promoting and distributing certain alternatives to Methyl Bromide for certain applications. MEBROM® is able to supply:

    - Mixtures methyl bromide and chloropicrin
    - Chloropicrin
    - Mixtures of chloropicrin and 1,3-Dichloropropene




    MEBROM® - Aluminium phosphide

    What is Aluminium phosphide?

    Aluminium phosphide (ALP) is a fumigant used to protect stored commodities (grain, rice, dried fruits, tobacco ...) from insects and burrowing pests. When exposed to atmospheric moisture, Aluminium phosphide generates phosphine gas (PH3) which is highly toxic to insects at all life stages and to burrowing pests.


    Formulations and packaging

    MEBROM® manufactures Aluminium phosphide formulated in tablets, pellets and powder. Under different trade names, amongst them MEPHOS® and HARVESTPHOS®. Several concnetrations of aluminium phosphide are available.
    MEPHOS® and HARVESTPHOS® are formulated in two spherical shapes, and in powder. The rounded tablets are about 16 mm in diameter and weigh approximately 3 grams and release 1 gram of phosphine gas. the pellets are about 9 mm in diameter and weigh approximately 0.6 gram and release 0.2 gram of phosphine gas. Both the tablets and pellets are bulk packed in re-sealable aluminium flasks. Powder is packed in sachets which weigh 34 grams and release approximately 11 grams of phosphine gas. Sachets are packed into a hermetically sealed metal can.

    PRODUCT FORMULATIONPACKING
    Aluminium phosphide 3.0 g/tablet1.5 kg aluminium bottle, 14 bottles per carton
    Aluminium phosphide 3.0 g/tablet1.0 kg aluminium bottle, 21 bottles per carton
    Aluminium phosphide 3.0 g/tablet0.5 kg aluminium bottle, 40 bottles per carton
    Aluminium phosphide 3.0 g/tablet0.3 kg aluminium bottle, 70 bottles per carton
    Aluminium phosphide 0.6 g/pellet1.5 kg aluminium bottle, 14 bottles per carton
    Aluminium phosphide 0.6 g/pellet1.0 kg aluminium bottle, 21 bottles per carton
    Aluminium phosphide 0.6 g/pellet0.5 kg aluminium bottle, 40 bottles per carton
    Aluminium phosphide 0.6 g/pellet0.3 kg aluminium bottle, 70 bottles per carton


    Application

    Aluminium phospide tablets, pellets and sachets are RESTRICTED USE PESTICIDES due to the acute inhalation toxicity of phosphine gas. These products are for retail sale to and use only by certified applicators for uses covered by the applicator's certification or person trained in accordance with the applicator's manual, working under the direct supervision and in the physical presence of the applicator. Physical presence means on site or on the premises. Read and follow the label and the manual, which contains complete instructions for the safe use of this pesticide.
    Before using, read and follow the precautions and directions contained in the label and applicator's manual. Persons working with aluminium phosphide should know the hazards of this chemical and should be trained in the use of required respiratory equipment, detector device, emergency procedures and use of the fumigant.

    MEPHOS® and HARVESTPHOS® are for the fumigation of raw and processed stored commodities including grains, seeds, cocoa beans, nuts, animal feeds, tea, coffee, leaf and processed tobacco, flour, processed spices, dried fruit, etc ...
    MEPHOS® and HARVESTPHOS® are used in variuos types of storage such as silos, flat storage, warehouses, bunkers, ship's holds, flour mills, etc...
    Fumigation of stored products with MEPHOS® and HARVESTPHOS® in the manner prescribed in the labelling does not contaminate the stored commodity. Aluminium phosphide fumigants are acted upon by atmospheric moisture to produce phosphine (hydrogen Phosphide PH3) gas. MEPHOS® and HERVESTPHOS® tablets, pellets and sachets contain aluminium phospide (ALP) as their active ingredient and will liberate phosphine via the following chemical reation: ALP + 3H2O -> Al(OH)3 + PH3

    Phosphine gas is highly toxic to insects, burrowing pests, humans and other forms of animal life. In addition to its toxic properties, this gas will corrode certain metals and may ignite spontaneously in air at concentrations above its lower flammable limit of 1.8% (v/v).

    Upon exposure to air, MEPHOS® and HARVESTPHOS® tablets, pellets and sachets begin to react with atmospheric moisture to produce small quantities of phosphine gas. This reaction starts slowly, gradually accelerates and then tapers off again as the aluminium phosphine is spent. MEPHOS® and HARVESTPHOS® pellets react faster than the tablets do. The rates of decomposition of the tablets, pellets and sachets vary, depending upon the moisture and temperature conditions.






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