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biosecurity built on science
Development of low
oxygen/nitrogen technologies
Dr Manjree Agarwal
Murdoch University
Plant B...
biosecurity built on science
Nitrogen is well known with + and -
Advantages
 Provides alternative to current use of chemi...
biosecurity built on science
Our research has developed nitrogen protocols
• We successfully controlled (100% efficacy in ...
biosecurity built on science
Nitrogen generation is the breakthrough
Two types of nitrogen generator have been
available; ...
biosecurity built on science
On-farm trials are very encouraging
We started on-farm trials with two
properties and through...
biosecurity built on science
And an industry trial at port was positive
This is where we got our $1.00 per
tonne result – ...
biosecurity built on science
Thank you
For more information, please contact:
China /Australia research: y.ren@murdoch.edu....
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Session 4: Development of low oxygen / nitrogen technologies

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The development of insect resistance to the key fumigant phosphine is driving renewed interest in the development of alternatives. One such alternative is the use of low oxygen atmospheres that are usually created through the generation of nitrogen. However, the costs of nitrogen generation have
been a longstanding barrier to the adoption of the low oxygen atmospheres in agricultural storages such as grains.
The research team has taken advantage of recent advances in the cost of nitrogen generation (membrane technology) to assist industry overcome operational barriers to uptake of the
technology.

Published in: Science
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Session 4: Development of low oxygen / nitrogen technologies

  1. 1. biosecurity built on science Development of low oxygen/nitrogen technologies Dr Manjree Agarwal Murdoch University Plant Biosecurity Cooperative Research Centre
  2. 2. biosecurity built on science Nitrogen is well known with + and - Advantages  Provides alternative to current use of chemistries such as phosphine  It can add to the “toolbox” for industry as “phosphine break fumigants”  It may be an option for “organic” markets Disadvantages  Costs of nitrogen generation  Air-tight storage is critical  Relatively high capital cost
  3. 3. biosecurity built on science Our research has developed nitrogen protocols • We successfully controlled (100% efficacy in the lab) adult grain storage insects with 97-99% N2, at a temperature of 20°C and a 2-4 week treatment • We successfully controlled (100% efficacy in the lab) egg stages of grain storage insects with 97-99% N2, at a temperature of 25°C and a 4 week treatment • Wheat, canola and lupine quality has no change during 3 months storage at >35°C
  4. 4. biosecurity built on science Nitrogen generation is the breakthrough Two types of nitrogen generator have been available; Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) and membrane separation Advances in membrane generation technology has meant that it can provide nitrogen atmospheres of 99.5% purity and higher = quicker kill times Advances in membrane technology has reduced the cost of nitrogen generation significantly = lower costs We have achieved a cost of about $1.00 per tonne for nitrogen and are working to reduce this by half – our target is 50 cents per tonne PSA Membrane
  5. 5. biosecurity built on science On-farm trials are very encouraging We started on-farm trials with two properties and through our partnership with Mingenew Irwin Group grower and Doug Clarke We have achieved the required nitrogen purity levels to ensure complete insect kill We have built a mobile facility that suits on-farm needs (silo capacity, flexibility)
  6. 6. biosecurity built on science And an industry trial at port was positive This is where we got our $1.00 per tonne result – and insights into how to reduce costs We are working on a new idea of recirculation of nitrogen to lower costs
  7. 7. biosecurity built on science Thank you For more information, please contact: China /Australia research: y.ren@murdoch.edu.au Lab efficacy data: m.agarwal@murdoch.edu.au Field evaluation: j.newman@Murdoch.edu.au

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