Development of a Field Weed Control Device Using Hot Air
Weed control using Hot Air
The aim of this study is to evaluate the performance of a weed control prototype using hot air in row crops. Also, study the effect of the prototype on crop damage and soil weed seed bank content as well as evaluate the prototype's mechanical and economic performance. The prototype is suitable for organic farming due to its low pollutant gas emissions. The electrical energy generated as a source of power for the prototype is used instead of using the fuel in the thermal weed flamers and hot steam machines. Hot air temperatures, flow rates, and exposure times are automatically controlled using electronic units such as thermocouples, speed controls, digital timers, and infrared motion sensors. The field tests were carried out at 0.28, 0.56, and 0.83 m s-1 of tractor forward speeds, with temperatures of 750, 850, and 950 °C and hot air flow rates of 0.035 and 0.045 m3 s-1. The main results indicated that the optimal value of the weed control efficiency was 91.45% after treatment using 0.28 m s-1 of forward speed, 950 °C of temperature, and an air flow rate of 0.045 m3 s-1. The weed seed bank in the top soil layer was decreased by 76.93%, while the highest crop damage was 10.83%. Furthermore, at 0.33 ha h-1 of field capacity, consumed energy fell to 156.76 kWh ha-1, while weed control operating costs were reduced to 124.32 USD ha-1.
Key words: Chlorophyll; emergence; electronic; motion sensor; prototype; thermocouple; Egypt.