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Transport and Reaction Processes in Soil

Syngenta is one of the worlds leading agrochemical companies. In order to register agrochemicals in Europe it is necessary to have a detailed understanding of the processes in the environment that break down agrochemicals. The existing framework for environmental assessment includes a consideration of soil water movement and microbial breakdown of products in soil and these processes are relatively understood and represented in models. However the breakdown of agrochemicals by the action of light incident on the soil surface by a process termed photolysis is not so well represented in models of environmental fate.

The problem brought by Syngenta to the workshop was how to include the effects of light degradation of chemicals into predictive models of environmental fate. Photolysis is known to occur in a very thin layer at the surface of soil. The workshop was asked to consider how the very rough nature of the upper surface of a ploughed field might affect the degradation of chemicals by sunlight. The discussions were directed down two avenues: firstly to determine how the very small distances over which photolysis occurs might be adequately incorporated into models of transport in soils and, secondly to consider how the rough surface might modify the illumination of the surface and hence alter degradation.


Problem presented by
Paul Sweeney, Syngenta


Study Group contributors
Nasrin Arab (Eindhoven University of Technology)
Reza Bazarganzadeh (Stockholm University)
Maurizio Ceseri (University of Florence)
Laura Gallimore (University of Oxford)
Andrew Lacey (Heriot-Watt University)
Chris Lustri (University of Oxford)
Rooholah Majdodin (Eindhoven University of Technology)
John Ockendon (University of Oxford)
Colin Please (University of Southampton)
Jean-Charles Seguis (University of Oxford)
Alex Shabala (University of Oxford)
Amy Smith (University of Oxford)
Nadia Smith (Universidad Complutense de Madrid)
Ellak Somfai (University of Warwick)
Robert Whittaker (University of Oxford)


Related resources:
Technical report
Other materials projects
Other Study Group projects

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