Source: PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY submitted to
PHYTOSANITARY TREATMENT TO METHYL BROMIDE FUMIGATION FOR WOOD IN WORLD TRADE
Sponsoring Institution
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Project Status
TERMINATED
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Annual
Accession No.
0218926
Grant No.
2009-51102-05652
Project No.
PEN04341
Proposal No.
2009-03144
Multistate No.
(N/A)
Program Code
112.C
Project Start Date
Sep 1, 2009
Project End Date
Feb 28, 2013
Grant Year
2009
Project Director
Hoover, K.
Recipient Organization
PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY
208 MUELLER LABORATORY
UNIVERSITY PARK,PA 16802
Performing Department
Entomology
Non Technical Summary
Methyl bromide (MeBr) emissions in the U.S. will not decline considerably until its use for quarantine and pre-shipment purposes associated with wood packaging materials (WPM) is addressed. Building on our years of promising research on dielectric heating of WPM in collaboration with scientists at USDA, wood products labs in Canada, and in consultation with regulatory agencies, our goal is to produce the necessary information to support a formal submission to and approval by the IPPC (International Plant Protection Convention) of radio frequency (RF) as an alternative to MeBr for treatment of WPM and other wood commodities. Currently there are only two accepted treatments [MeBr and conventional heat treatment (HT)] and HT cannot replace MeBr for many applications. At the same time that these measures were approved, the IPPC identified, as a matter of urgency, the need to adopt further treatments for use under the International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures. The objectives of this proposal are to demonstrate that RF is equally, if not more, effective for killing pests in wood compared with MeBr, less costly, and environmentally superior to currently available treatments. We will define the lethal temperatures for killing pests under worst-case scenario conditions, using this information to develop and verify a proposed treatment schedule. The economics and life cycle analysis of RF will be contrasted with MeBr and conventional HT. Outcomes will be delivered to end users and appropriate regulatory authorities through extension and outreach efforts. This proposal is in response to CUN 11: Food Processing Plants and Post-Harvest Use by NPMA for Facilities, Commodities, and Objects. As stated in the CUN, MeBr is used on an as-needed basis for trailer fumigations of product or packaging material. Currently, about 80% of all pallets fumigated with MeBr are treated as unitized loads with product for pre-shipment purposes. The remaining 20% are fumigated prior to shipment to the pallet customers, as IPPC-compliant pallets. In addition to reducing MeBr use for WPM used in international trade, the work proposed here will develop the baseline RF efficacy data against a variety of pests in wood, which can be translated into processes specific to food products such as grains and nuts. The outcome will be an approved alternative treatment to replace MeBr fumigation for wood products used in world trade, which will vastly reduce MeBr emissions into the atmosphere.
Animal Health Component
(N/A)
Research Effort Categories
Basic
20%
Applied
60%
Developmental
20%
Classification

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
6060410112025%
2110650113025%
2123110202025%
1413130301025%
Goals / Objectives
The goal of this project is to produce the necessary efficacy data to support a formal submission to and approval by the IPPC of radio frequency (RF) as an alternative to methyl bromide for treatment of wood packaging materials and other wood commodities under ISPM-15 (International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures). The objectives of this proposal are to demonstrate that dielectric heating using RF technology is equally, if not more, effective for killing pests in wood compared with methyl bromide, less costly, and environmentally superior to currently available treatments. The lethal temperatures for killing pests under worst-case scenario conditions will be determined; using this information a proposed treatment schedule will be developed, verified, and modified if needed. The economics and life cycle analysis of RF will be contrasted with methyl bromide and conventional heat treatment. Outcomes will be delivered to end users and appropriate regulatory authorities through extension and outreach efforts. Outcomes will be the baseline RF efficacy data against a variety of pests in wood, which can be translated into processes specific to food products such as grains and nuts. An additional outcome will be a completed formal submission of RF efficacy data to support approval as an alternative phytosanitary treatment to the IPPC by the U.S. and Canadian NPPOs.
Project Methods
We will determine the lethal temperatures for radio frequency (RF) treatment of wood packaging materials of different moisture contents and different wood species for eradication of the list of pests specified in ISPM-28 (3 groups of insects, pine wood nematode, and fungi). Using a 40 KW, 18 MHz RF oven and the two-stage approach in the ISPM-28 guidelines, lethal temperatures will be determined using representative species and life stages most likely to be found in wood at the time of treatment to determine the most tolerant organism/life stage in each treatment group. For each wood sample, surface temperature profiles will be obtained using an IR thermal imaging camera to collect data in real time. Fiber optic probes will be placed at different depths depending on location of pests in the wood. For each experiment, an initial sample size of 10 will be used to evaluate efficacy at a given temperature for a given pest species/life stage using small wood samples. Sufficient replication will be performed to determine the temperature required to reach efficacy of Probit 9; this will be determined using modeling curves based on dose/efficacy responses by obtaining the best fit of the data to appropriate distributions (e.g. probit or logit). For stage 2, a proposed treatment schedule will be tested under simulated operational conditions using larger wood volumes of typical dimensions used to construct pallets; testing will use commercial equipment against the worst-case scenario combination of pest/wood species/moisture content as determined in Objective 1. Analysis of the cost/benefit and competitiveness of RF treatment compared to conventional heat treatment and methyl bromide fumigation will be performed. We will test the feasibility of our proposed treatment schedules and extrapolate the global economic impact at various levels of deployment of the technology. Our approach will include: a detailed quantification of the actual costs of each type of treatment at various levels of efficacy; an analysis and quantification of "whole system" costs relative to each treatment; an analysis of "whole system" efficacy and impact under determined interaction effects of the different treatments; an economic analysis of local, regional, and global impact under optimal deployment assumptions; and a sensitivity analysis to graphically demonstrate the value of various levels of government promulgation of the "best" technology. We will deliver research results to end users via refereed publications, extension fact sheets, web site development, eXtension content module development, presentations at workshops and professional meetings, future research and technology transfer proposals, and submission of LCI/LCA data to international agencies. We will exchange relevant study findings with the food processing, grocery, and pallet and container trade associations and regulatory authorities for review of the proposed RF phytosanitary treatment schedules. All data will be provided to the U.S./Canadian NPPO's for preparation of a formal alternative treatment submission to the IPPC.

Progress 09/01/09 to 02/28/13

Outputs
OUTPUTS: Research performed over the three year project duration demonstrated that dielectric heating using radio-frequency (RF) technology is an effective method to kill target pests in infested wood in the form of wood packaging materials (WPMs). During the performance period extensive laboratory trials were conducted to study volumetric heating behavior of WPM combined with pest survival data collection to establish the RF lethal exposure threshold to meet the probit 9 mortality required for consideration of this method as a new treatment under Phytosanitary Treatment Standard No. 15 (ISPM-15). This effort included 13 RF heating temperatures with pinewood nematode (PWN, Bursaphelenchus xylophilus) infested wood from ambient control to 70 degrees C treatments for probit modeling efforts. The minimum lethal temperature was determined to be 56 degrees C through the profile of the material. In collaboration with USDA APHIS scientists, studies were conducted to determine the lethal RF temperature for 100% mortality of emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis) and Asian long-horned beetle (ALB, Anoplophora glabripennis) using naturally infested round wood. An essential outcome was demonstration that maintenance of 56 degrees C with a 60 second hold time through the profile of the wood verified using surface temperature produced 100% mortality of PWN, EAB and ALB. Probit 9 mortality levels were satisfied with this RF treatment protocol and are consistent with previous findings using volumetric heating of higher frequency microwave irradiation. Our results were presented as technical reports at the International Forestry Quarantine Research Work Group Meetings (IFQRG) in Portugal (2010), Australia (2011) and Cardiff, Wales (2012). Four graduate students and a postdoctoral researcher were trained in the science related to dielectric heating experimental design and modeling of temperature profiles, and economic and life cycle analyses of the technologies as they may be applied in industry. Analyses documented the economic and environmental costs of methyl bromide treatment of wooden pallets relative to conventional heat treatment and heat treatment with dielectric technologies (microwave and RF). These analyses demonstrated that dielectric methods hold promise for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the very large and growing wooden pallet treatment industry, and at a cost that will likely prove cost-effective as the technology is commercially developed. Outreach efforts to the industry included presentations at the National Wooden Pallet and Container Recycler's Annual Conference, the American Society for Engineering Management Annual Meeting, the Annual International Research Conference on Methyl Bromide Alternatives and Emissions Reductions of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the Forest Products Society Annual Meeting. PARTICIPANTS: Dr. Kelli Hoover and Dr. John Janowiak of Penn State University supervised Dr. Brad Gething, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in the design, execution and analysis of results for this project. Dr. Chuck Ray of Penn State University supervised graduate students who conducted life cycle analyses and economic analyses using the new data on lethal temperatures developed. The subcontractor on the project, Dr. Adnan Uzunovic, conducted studies on the use of radiofrequency for treatment of wood infested with pinewood nematode, assisted by Drs. Gething and Janowiak. Collaborators outside Penn State include Dr. Ron Mack of USDA, APHIS, CPST and Ben Wilson of PSC, Inc. The RF equipment used for this project was purchased by the USDA and has now been located at Penn State. Dr. Mack obtained the ALB and EAB infested materials and was the lead on the experiments conducted off the Penn State campus. Ben Wilson provided technical expertise and upgraded equipment for the radio frequency oven. TARGET AUDIENCES: Various product manufacturers and end-users groups are served by this research to investigate and formulate alternative phytosanitation strategies applying dielectric (radio-frequency and microwave) energy to sterilize wood. Major industries that benefit from phytosanitation technology innovation to increase cost effectiveness and reduce environmental impacts include hardwood and softwood producers that supply wood packaging material for use in international commerce. Approval of dielectric heat treatment under ISPM-15 will be a key treatment method for wood used in international trade and for international movement of whole logs. Thus, additional audiences are the regulatory agencies for plant protection throughout the world, including the international regulatory body, the IPPC, and the USDA. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period.

Impacts
Approval of RF and microwave irradiation (dielectric heating) as alternative methods to methyl bromide fumigation is expected for inclusion under Annex 1 of ISPM-15, which requires that all wood packaging materials used in international trade be properly treated. RF in particular is faster and more efficient than conventional heat treatment. The proposed treatment schedule is that 60 degrees C be achieved through the profile of the material for 60 seconds. This is the first alternative treatment to reach this stage as a new treatment for ISPM-15. Communications with pallet manufacturers and regulatory authorities has increased interest in, and more likely to result in adoption of, dielectric heating for wood packaging materials. Also, results from this study will provide additional support for adaption of dielectric heating methods for application to other commodities. Temperature profiling of different wood types and moisture contents will be of great importance to the industry in designing RF equipment to meet the ISPM-15 Annex 1 standards. Our work and publications on which we are co-authors contributed to making the case to the technical panels of the IPPC that Probit 9 treatment efficacy as a requirement for new treatment development is unnecessary and, in fact, not possible for most forest pests. The pallet manufacturing and pallet treatment facility owners have been educated about dielectric heating as an alternative technology that will be available to them in the near future; several companies are interested in partnering on development and testing of RF equipment for treating wood packaging materials in industrial settings.

Publications

  • No publications reported this period


Progress 09/01/11 to 08/31/12

Outputs
OUTPUTS: It was determined from the previous year's study that higher levels of wood infestation were required to determine lethal temperatures using radio frequency with greater certainty. For this reason, the mortality studies on Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB) and Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) were repeated in conjunction with USDA, APHIS, CPHST. The experimental approach was the same as the prior year, except for the location and method of material collection. The ALB study was performed on infested maple from a newly discovered infestation in Bethel, OH. EAB materials were once again collected outside of Brighton, MI, but in this case sample material was collected along with emergence data to ensure higher levels of infestation in the material. This resulted in a 10-fold increase in ALB populations in specimens and more than a 2-fold increase in EAB per log. For ALB and EAB, no survivors were found after treatment above 55C and 50C, respectively. These data resulted in reliable prediction of mortality curves at the Probit 9 level: 61C for ALB and 64C for EAB. With the high infestation levels of ALB, a relatively large number of larvae (6/60 alive) were discovered directly under the bark of the specimens. This discovery provided an opportunity to analyze survivorship and mortality using surface IR temperature measurement by relating the location of larvae to surface IR images to estimate the exposure temperature directly after heat treatment. The surface analysis revealed that no survivors were found below a surface temperature of 60C. An exploratory study was performed on frozen beech wood of 17x17x50 cm to investigate the heating pattern of RF heat treatment on frozen, large cross-section materials. Four specimens were frozen to approximately -20C and the remaining four left at ambient temperature. Four fiber optic probes were inserted along the length of specimen into the core, and three probes were placed on the surface (top, front, and back) at the midpoint. A target of at least 40C for every probe was achieved. IR images were taken of all surfaces after heating. Then the specimen was sliced in half, and an IR image of the cross-section of the heated specimen was taken. The results of the study indicated that the heating pattern of frozen wood is different compared to ambient wood during the initial heating phase (first few minutes, below approximately 30C), but then resemble that of ambient wood after that period. For ambient wood, the internal heating rate is faster than that of surface temperatures, resulting in surface temperatures that are always cooler than internal ones. During the initial heating of frozen wood, the internal temperatures heat slowly while the surface temperatures increase immediately. Beyond the initial heating phase, the internal temperatures increase dramatically and "crossover" the surface temperatures, resembling the ambient heating pattern where internal temperatures are higher than surface temperatures. A guidance document was prepared for dielectric heating and presented to the Technical Panel of Phytosanitary Treatments of the International Plant Protection Committee. PARTICIPANTS: Dr. Kelli Hoover and Dr. John Janowiak of Penn State University supervised Dr. Brad Gething, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in the design, execution and analysis of results for this project. Dr. Chuck Ray of Penn State University continues to conduct life cycle analyses and economic analyses using the new data on lethal temperatures developed over the past year. The subcontractor on the project, Dr. Adnan Uzunovic, conducted studies on the use of radiofrequency for treatment of wood infested with pinewood nematode, assisted by Drs. Gething and Janowiak. Collaborators outside Penn State include Dr. Ron Mack of USDA, APHIS, CPST and Ben Wilson of PSC, Inc. The RF equipment used for this project was purchased by the USDA and has now been located at Penn State. Dr. Mack obtained the ALB and EAB infested materials and was the lead on the experiments conducted off the Penn State campus. Ben Wilson continues to provide technical expertise on RF equipment. TARGET AUDIENCES: Various product manufacturers and end-users groups are being served by this research to investigate and formulate alternative phytosanitation strategies applying dielectric (radio-frequency and microwave energy) to sterilize wood. Major industries that benefit from phytosanitation technology innovation to increase cost effectiveness and reduce environmental impacts include hardwood and softwood producers that supply wood packaging material for use in international commerce. Approval of dielectric heat treatment under ISPM-15 will be a key treatment method for wood used in international trade and for international movement of whole logs. Thus, additional audiences are the regulatory agencies for plant protection throughout the world, including the international regulatory body, the IPPC, and the USDA. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period.

Impacts
These results were presented and discussed at the latest International Forestry Quarantine Research (IFQRG) meeting in September of 2012. IFQRG is the scientific advisory body to the technical panels of the IPPC tasked with mitigating risk associated with movement of wood packaging materials during international shipping. At the meeting it was also determined that the Probit 9 level of testing is not necessary and results in a large over-estimate of mortality temperature. The work from this study supported that assertion, where estimations of lethal temperatures were well above the actual measured temperatures. A new method to estimate the lethal temperature using new treatments was discussed, based on the likelihood of the alien species establishing a founder population in a new environment. When this approach was applied to the RF results from this project, it was determined that the populations used for this project were sufficient to determine lethal temperature without modeling. Surface temperature data indicated survival at a minimum of 60C for ALB, suggesting that surface temperature data would need to be calibrated to internal temperatures to be used as a control methodology for round wood with the bark on. The frozen wood study results revealed that regardless of the state of moisture in dimensional wood materials prior to testing, the surface of the material is cooler than the internal bulk volume when the temperatures are near the target. This conclusion provides proof that initial temperature does not influence surface temperature as a conservative estimate of the bulk treatment temperature of dimensional materials; consequently the language in the proposed Annex 1 of ISPM-15, allowing the use of dielectric heating as a new treatment under ISPM-15, does not need revision and the technical panels are likely to make a recommendation to the Standards Committee of the IPPC that the annex be approved. The creation of the RF treatment facility at Penn State will provide an opportunity to perform investigations more quickly and efficiently. This facility has made possible the execution of future commercial scale investigations at Penn State as opposed to an off campus facility. The guidance document on dielectric heating mentioned above will be reviewed by the technical panel at their meeting in November of 2012 and will help the member countries of the IPPC better understand dielectric technology as individual NPPO's evaluate industrial equipment for use under ISPM-15. Two presentations on this project were made at the IFQRG meetings in Australia in September 2011 and two in September 2012 in Cardiff, Wales by this team.

Publications

  • Uzunovic, A., B. Bething, A. Coelho, A. Dale, J. J. Janowiak, R. Mack and K. Hoover. 2012. Lethal temperature for pinewood nematode, Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, in infested wood using radio frequency energy. Journal of Wood Science (In Press).


Progress 09/01/10 to 08/31/11

Outputs
OUTPUTS: A second trial of the effectiveness of radio frequency (RF) phytosanitary treatment was performed on round wood infested with emerald ash borer (EAB) at Brighton, MI. This study supplemented the one performed in 2010 to include a broader range of temperatures, which will provide less uncertainty for the calculated lethal treatment temperature. Five treatment temperatures were tested (35, 40, 45, 50, 55 degrees C) and replicated 60 times. As in the prior study, 8 fiberoptic probes were used to monitor temperature, and surface temperature was characterized using an infrared (IR) camera. A supplemental study was performed, where the bark was peeled from a subsample of specimens to investigate where, if any, un-emerged EAB were located. For specimens treated to 50 and 55 degrees C, all were peeled, and only specimens with recorded survivals were peeled at the remaining lower temperatures, totaling 142 specimens. In every case, the location of an emergence hole or larva was recorded; this permitted mapping of survivor to the surface temperature recorded by the IR camera at that location. The life stage of every surviving EAB was also recorded. Overall, 42 emergence holes were mapped, along with 161 un-emerged early instars. In addition a second trial was done with bolts of maple trees infested with Asian longhorned beetle collected in Worcester, MA. In 2011, the study consisted of 25 controls, 63 reps at 35 degrees C, 60 reps at 40 degrees C, 6 reps at 50 degrees C and 11 reps at 55 degrees C. Results are being prepared for publication after a third trial on EAB and ALB is completed later this year and in early 2012. A comparison of pallet types and treatment methods using life-cycle analysis and dynamic programming was completed. Also, a comparison of the potential environmental impacts of microwave phytosanitary treatment of wooden pallets to conventional heat and methyl bromide treatments was performed. Both of these efforts investigated the environmental impact of the treatments based on internationally-accepted life-cycle analysis methodology and tools, and developed a framework from which further economic analysis can proceed. Outreach efforts included presentations at the International Forestry Quarantine Research Group annual meeting; the National Wooden Pallet and Container Recycler's Annual Conference, and the American Society for Engineering Management Annual Meeting; the Annual International Research Conference on Methyl Bromide Alternatives and Emissions Reductions of the United States Environmental Protection Agency; the Forest Products Society Annual Meeting, and the International Forestry Quarantine Research Group annual meeting in September 2011 in Canberra, Australia. PARTICIPANTS: Collaborators on this project include Ron Mack at USDA, APHIS, PPQ in Buzzards Bay, MA. Ron worked with us on both the emerald ash borer and Asian longhorned beetle RF studies. Adnan Uzunovic of FP Innovations in Vancouver, B.C. continues to analyze data on the pinewood nematode and fungi studies using RF; these results are currently in preparation for publication with Adnan as co-author. John Janowiak and Chuck Ray of the School of Forest Resources at Penn State worked on radio frequency experiments and life cycle analysis, respectively. Brad Gething, a Ph.D. student in Wood Products at Penn State, was was trained on this project in running many of the RF experiments and developing infrared maps of wood heating patterns. Sebastian Kurisunkal Anil received training on this project and completed his M.S. in Industrial Engineering. Shirin Shahidi completed part of the life cycle analysis for this project, receiving her M.S. in Forest Science in August, 2011. TARGET AUDIENCES: Target audiences include the International Plant Protection Convention, National Plant Protection Organizations around the world, government regulatory personnel involved in wood packaging regulations, and the wood products industry itself. In total, approximately 610 persons in the wood industry and phytosanitary research and regulatory community attended the presentations on this project at extension and outreach meetings. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period.

Impacts
At temperatures of 50-55 degrees C, all emerald ash borer larvae and all Asian longhorned beetles died, with one exception. One Asian longhorned beetle infested log contained a single larva that survived treatment, which mapped back to a cold spot in the wood when comparing the location to the infrared map. Life cycle analysis indicated that dielectric heating, especially radiofrequency, has fewer negative environmental impacts than does conventional heat treatment or methyl bromide fumigation. This information was conveyed to international regulatory authorities at the International Forestry Quarantine Research Group meeting in 2011. A new Penn State Extension program was developed on Life-Cycle Analysis and delivered by one of the participating researchers and two graduate students to a crowd of twenty-eight current and future life cycle analysis practitioners in July, 2011. This program was well-received for a first-time program, with an average rating of 4.1 on a 1-5 scale for program quality; future programs are in the planning stages.

Publications

  • Schortemeyer, M., K. Thomas, R. A. Haack, A. Uzunovic, K. Hoover, J. A. Simpson, and C. A. Grgurinovic. 2011. Appropriateness of Probit-9 in the development of quarantine treatments for timber and timber commodities. J. Econ. Entomol. 104:717-731.
  • Haack, R.A., A. Uzunovic, K. Hoover and J. A. Cook. 2011. Seeking alternatives to probit 9 when developing treatments for wood packaging materials under ISPM No. 15. OEPP/EPPO Bulletin 41:39-45.


Progress 09/01/09 to 08/31/10

Outputs
OUTPUTS: Phytosanitary treatment testing using radiofrequency (RF) has been conducted on wood infested with either Emerald ash borer (EAB) or Asian longhorned beetle (ALB). Preliminary testing of wood infested with pinewood nematode and of wood infected with the most treatment-tolerant fungal isolates was initiated by our subcontractors. The EAB and ALB experiments were performed in Brighton, MI and at Worcester, MA at USDA/APHIS facilities in the quarantine zones. For each study approximately 300 round wood specimens were treated of each insect/wood combination. Six target temperatures (50 replicates each) were tested (50, 55, 58, 60, 62, 65 degrees C) to determine the lethal temperature of wood borers in the material. Temperatures were monitored using 7 fiber optic probes as well as infrared (IR) imaging of the surface of the specimen to give a macroscopic view of surface temperature. Indexing of the specimen is an advancement used in this study, such that any EAB emergence hole found on a specimen could be traced back to the IR image to permit correlation of any survival to a cold spot. Under subcontract, FPInnovations in Vancouver, B.C. received the RF oven in late summer and personnel have begun evaluating efficacy of RF for killing pinewood nematode and fungi in infected wood. On the extension portion of the project, SimaPro LCI/Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) software was purchased and 4 personnel on the project received training on the software. This software was used for a LCA from cradle-to-grave to examine the environmental impact of a GMA wooden pallet and a plastic pallet of 48" x 48" dimensions used in the grocery industry. Seven presentations were delivered to stakeholders, including two presentations at the International Forestry Quarantine Research Group meeting in Portugal. Presentations were also made to 3 companies who would be end users of these products. Sixteen companies contributed to the LCA and economic portions of the study. PARTICIPANTS: Dr. John Janowiak, Wood Products Engineer in the School of Forestry at Penn State and Dr. Kelli Hoover of the Entomology Department at Penn State University were responsible for planning and supervising the research. Brad Gething, a Ph.D. student under the supervision of Dr. Janowiak at Penn State, assisted in the development of the experimental design and execution of the EAB study, and the construction of the EAB containment facility. Subcontractor Dr. Adnan Uzunovic of PFInnovations conducted the experiments on pinewood nematode and fungi. Dr. Charles Ray supervised 3 Master's students on this project, one of who (S.K. Anil) conducted the life cycle analysis. Government cooperative investigators: Ron Mack (Commodity Treatment Specialist); USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection (APHIS), PPQ, Pest Survey, detection and Exclsusion Laboratory; Otis, ANGB, MA and at Worcester, MA. Industrial collaboration and research support: Ben Wilson (Technical Manager) PSC Inc., Cleveland, OH TARGET AUDIENCES: Various product manufacturers and end-users groups are being served by this research to investigate and formulate alternative phytosanitation strategies applying dielectric (radio-frequency and microwave energy) to sterilize wood. Major industries that benefit from phytosanitation technology innovation to increase cost effectiveness and reduce environmental impacts include hardwood and softwood producers that supply wood packaging material for use in international commerce. Pending approval radiofrequency will be a key treatment method for wood used in international trade and for international movement of whole logs. Thus, additional audiences are the regulatory agencies for plant protection throughout the world, including the international regulatory body, the IPPC. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period.

Impacts
The results of this study revealed that the new configuration of temperature probes was effective in monitoring cold spots in the wood specimens. No ALB or EAB survivors were found at 55 degrees C or higher, and only one survivor emerged from the specimens treated at 50 degrees C for either beetle species. The measurement of both core and below surface temperatures revealed that during RF treatment of ash logs, the core heats much faster than the outer third of the log on the sides. Furthermore, since the RF treatment process was found to effectively kill all life stages, no consideration of EAB life stage needs to be made during treatment. This finding allows for the treatment of EAB during any season of the year. Life cycle analysis showed that plastic pallets incur large carbon footprints during the manufacturing phase as opposed to wooden pallets that are relatively greener. Among the three phytosanitary treatment methods, methyl bromide fumigation incurred maximum impacts on the global warming and ozone layer depletion categories. In all other environmental categories heat treatment was found to be the most impact intensive method and RF heating the least impact intensive treatment method. LCA results showed that a newly manufactured and treated wooden pallet produces seven to eight times fewer impacts than a newly produced plastic pallet. Although plastic pallet manufacture was shown to be carbon footprint intensive, its trip rate information as obtained from companies have reportedly been four to five times that of wooden pallets, thereby reducing its average life cycle cost in the long run. In addition, the presentation of the life cycle analysis of different treatment methods at the International Forestry Quarantine Research Group meeting generated a great deal of interest. The IPPC Secretariat would like to see this information obtained for all phytosanitary treatment options. Using data submitted by this team, the application of microwave energy as a new phytosanitary treatment under ISPM-15 has been recommended by the Technical Panel of Phytosanitary Treatment for approval to the Standards Committee of the International Plant Protection Convention. This is work that was funded by the USDA Methyl Bromide Transitions Grant program in the last funding cycle.

Publications

  • No publications reported this period