, Volume 18, Issue 7, pp 1209-1226

Development and evaluation of systems to collect volatile semiochemicals from insects and plants using a charcoal-infused medium for air purification

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A system is described for the collection of volatiles produced by plants and insects that minimizes stresses on the plant or insect in an environment that is free from chemical impurities. Air entering a volatile collection chamber containing insects and/or plants was purified using a nonwoven fabric medium infused with charcoal. When three layers of this material were used, the total amount of impurities detected by gas chromatography was less than 40 ng/hr at a collection rate of 1 L/min. The air filtration system can maintain this level of air purification for 96 hr at an air flow of 0.43 m/sec, or a total volume of approximately 750,000 L of air. The air filtration system did not alter the relative humidity of the purified air compared to the relative humidity of ambient air. A multiport collector system was developed for use with the insect volatile collection system and enabled up to three samples to be collected without disturbing the system.