We are hosting a webinar on the importance of measuring volatile organic compounds in agriculture in partnership with SRUC and Anatune. Join us on September 3rd from 2pm – 3pm and hear from industry experts as they share their knowledge and views on the topic.
SIFT-MS and analysing a range of volatile organic compounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
Large quantities and types of VOCs are emitted into the atmosphere from both anthropogenic and natural sources, daily. To be able to model and control the impact of VOCs, it’s essential that we understand their sources.
VOCs from agriculture are becoming of increasing importance in national legislation. NMVOCs (non-methane VOCs) are one of the main pollutants under the spotlight in the UK Government’s ‘Clean Air Strategy’, as according to NAEI (2018), agriculture accounts for ~14% of NMVOCs emitted.
The Government is aiming to reduce emissions of NMVOCs by 39% by 2030.
In the arable sector
VOCs are released from plants – especially major crops such as corn, wheat and soybean – at their greatest amount during the flowering stage. They react with other air pollutants in the presence of sunlight to produce ground level ozone.
Ozone negatively affects plant growth, has potential impacts on biodiversity and climate change and can cause a plethora of health problems in humans. It has been estimated that in a typical year in the UK, ozone reduces yields of wheat, potato, and oilseed rape by 5%.
In the livestock (dairy) sector
Potential sources of VOCs on dairy farms include manure, feed and cattle themselves. These are released when cattle feed is fermented as silage, and when feed is digested in the rumen of the animal. Air quality from animal agriculture could be significantly affected by VOCs.