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Atmospheric Pesticide Research Group of Valencia

 

About the Group:


 

The Atmospheric Pesticide Research Group of Valencia is a pesticide application technology and an analytical and environmental chemistry research group whose members belongs to the FISABIO-Public Health, to the Mediterranean Center for Environmental Studies (CEAM) and to the Valencian Institute of Agrarian Research (IVIA) in Valencia region (Spain).

The research activity is focused on the optimization of pesticide applications reducing losses to the environment and the development of new analytical methodologies for the analysis of pesticides in the atmosphere, the risk exposure and the risk assessment of pesticides in air and understanding and quantifying the fate and behaviour of pesticides in the environment using a combination of field studies, laboratory experiments and computers simulations.

The Public Health Laboratory of Valencia (LSPV) is part of the Health Department of the Regional Government of Valencia (Generalitat Valenciana). The mission of the LSPV is to provide a reliable analytical system in support to the programmes of food safety and environmental control promoted by the Valencia Regional Government (Generalitat Valenciana). LSPV is among the biggest (3000m2) and best-equipped laboratories in Spain with modern facilities and equipped with the latest and most modern analytical instruments:  ICP-MS,  LC-HRMS (Orbitrap), LC-MS (triple quadrupole), GC-MS (simple quadrupole), GC-MS (triple quadrupole) and liquid and gas chromatographs with conventional detectors. LSPV staff analyze air, water and food samples on the framework of the EU programmes of food safety and environmental control. LSPV works under the quality system ISO/IEC 17025 and is accreditated by the National Accreditation Entity ENAC. Moreover, different sampling equipments such as High/LowVolume Samplers and Impactor size distribution particles are placed in different sampling stations for collecting samples.

The Mediterranean Center for Environmental Studies (CEAM) is a centre of research, development and technological innovation to improve the natural environment in the Mediterranean. CEAM operates EUPHORE (European Photoreactor), which is one of the major research installations in Europe and world-wide, used in the research and follow-up of atmospheric chemical processes. Its characteristics allow the simulation of these processes under near-real conditions thanks to its large size (200 m3) and its use of natural light, and these installations have an extensive and outstanding analytical infrastructure. For the detection of the different compounds of atmospheric interest – principally products at a traces levels but harmful to human health-, the  EUPHORE simulation chambers are equipped with an extense analytical technologies that include chromatography systems both gaseous and liquid (including a wide range of species to be studied), instrumentation to measure particulate matter (for the characterization of  chemical and physical properties), constant monitoring systems which allow to follow the evolution of those present  oxidizing  species in the carried out experiments and, sophisticated optical systems of detection to permit a detailed study of the gas phase.

The Valencian Institute of Agrarian Research (IVIA) is a public research institution with large experience in agricultural research and technological transfer services. More than 400 people work in it. IVIA collaborates with the Spanish and Regional Governments through the agricultural research programs that are regarded as national priority by the Ministry of Agriculture, the National (INIA) and the regional Research Agency. The Agrarian Mechanization Laboratory (AML) of the Agro-Engineering Centre is part of the Valencian Institute of Agrarian Research (IVIA).  One of the research lines of AML is focussed on the mechanization of pest control technologies whose aims are: 
-    Optimization of pesticide applications in high crops by means of dose adjustment.
-    Efficiency assessment of sprayers and estimation of pesticide losses in the environment.
-    Design and development of machines to control pests (sprayers, machines to release sterile males or natural enemies).
-    Automation and incorporation of sensors for reducing the environmental impact of pesticide treatments.
-    Transfer and dissemination of knowledge of practices for reducing pesticide environmental contamination.
Among the infrastructure and equipments of AML stand out: availability of 45 ha of experimental fields and 2 ha of greenhouses, spray cabin with big dimensions (5mx20m), pest rearing chambers, Potter Towers for spray application under laboratory conditions, tractors and air-blast sprayers, equipment for analysis of vertical spray distribution (patternator), equipment for image analysis of spray  droplets.