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Inorganic Fluoride Propellant Oxidizers Volume I. Their Effects Upon Seed Germination and Plant Growth

Report Number: AMRL TR 66-187 Volume 1
Author: Reed, Donald J.
Author: Dost, Frank N.
Author: Wang, Chih H.
Corporate Author: Oregon State University
Laboratory: Biomedical Laboratory
Date of Publication: 1967-11
Pages: 88
Contract: AF 33(615)-1767
Project: 6302
Task: 630204
AD Number: AD0667556

Certain inorganic fluorides were reviewed for their chemical, physical and toxicological properties. The compounds are nitrogen trifluoride; tetrafluorohydrazine; chlorine trifluoride; bromine pentafluoride; oxygen difluoride; hydrogen fluoride, and fluorine. Seeds and seedlings of bean, corn, pea, squash and sudan grass were exposed to air or water mixture of these compounds. Exposure of dry seeds to a gaseous 100% NF3 atmosphere for 1 to 8 hours caused inhibition of subsequent germination depending on the seed species. Exposure of seeds to a 10% N2F4 atmosphere for 1 hour completely inhibited germination of all five species of seeds. Exposure of dry seeds to less than 500 ppm of either bromine pentafluoride or chlorine trifluoride in air drastically reduced their subsequent germination even when the exposure time was for less than one hour. Exposures of plant seedlings to gaseous ClF3 in air at 500 and 2,000 ppm for 5 minutes resulted in extensive destruction of the plants; bromine pentafluoride-air mixtures were even more damaging than ClF3 atmospheres. Concentrations of N2F4 or NF3 up to 10,000 ppm in air were required to cause visible damage of plant seedlings after a 30 to 60 minute exposure period. Plant injury was caused by irrigation of plant seedlings with solutions formed by the reaction of ClF3 or BrF5 with water. The exposed seeds and seedlings were analyzed for fluoride content. The equipment and methods used for these exposures is described.

RAF Centre of Aviation Medicine
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