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Insects and other pests may have met their match in Dirk Maier, the professor of agricultural and biological engineering who received the 2006 Purdue Agricultural Research Award for his work on postharvest grain preservation.
Maier’s work includes using chilling and ozone as nonchemical alternatives to protect stored grain from insects and fungi, developing a new controller for grain drying, and using carbon dioxide detectors to monitor biological activity of fungi and insects in stored grains.
“Dirk’s work on developing nonchemical methods to control pest insects in stored products is significant. It serves as a replacement for insecticides or fumigants that are either unavailable or banned from use,” says Sonny Ramaswamy, Purdue Agriculture associate dean for research. “In addition, these techniques may be used in organic production systems.”
This summer, Maier and his research team are scaling up the grain ozonation technology, which adds ozone to air that is pumped through a bin to sterilize grain surfaces.
Maier takes personal pride in creating equipment and procedures that are environmentally friendly: “We’re always looking at how we can do things that are more efficient, less fuel intensive and more environmentally friendly.”
Contact Maier at firstname.lastname@example.org