Why Ethyl Formate?


Ethyl formate is a clean, green, non-toxic fumigant that breaks down into naturally-occurring products.

It is also highly effective in the control of pests that commonly infest stored food products.

Until now, ethyl formate has not been able to be used effectively as a fumigant because of its flammability.

As a result the agriculture industry has had to mainly rely on two highly toxic alternatives – methyl bromide and phosphine. Whereas ethyl formate is a food-grade product, both methyl bromide and phosphine have been known to cause serious illness and even death in humans.

Reliable, safe ethyl formate

Ethyl formate is a reliable, safe and effective option across a range of agricultural applications. Its many benefits include:

  • Efficacy: Ethyl formate is as effective against insect pests, including the egg stage, as its competitors
  • Use in unsealed storage bins: It does not require sealed storage or aeration, and can be used without recirculation for grain stores under 150 tonnes and with recirculation in larger grain stores, making it suitable for on-farm use
  • Fumigation time: Ethyl formate acts rapidly, with exposure times of less than 48 hours. It also requires no aeration or withholding period.  The total fumigation period is therefore substantially less than most commonly used fumigants
  • Insect resistance: There are currently no resistance issues with ethyl formate as there are with phosphine. Ethyl formate could be used as a phosphine resistance breaker, thereby extending the useful life of phosphine
  • Residue: Ethyl formate leaves no residues that are distinguishable in type or quantity from chemicals that occur naturally in grains. In comparison, phosphine use can leave phosphide residues if used incorrectly, methyl bromine leaves bromide residues, and dichlorvos leaves organophosphate residues
  • Ease of use: Ethyl formate is easier to use than most of its competitors and requires little in the way of infrastructure
  • Flammability: Until now, ethyl formate’s major safety issue has been its low flammability point. However, Fume8 significantly generate non-flammable ethyl formate formulation on-site to kill insects and their eggs is below the flammability threshold of ethyl formate, thus overcoming the flammability issue.