Published: Jan 1996
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Adjuvants formulation has progressed in an Edisonian fashion. Few guidelines exist to determine which surfactants and solvents should be combined to give a high performance adjuvant. Surface chemistry has a pronounced effect on the adjuvant’s delivery of active via wetting and spreading, and emulsion stability upon dilution of the concentrated adjuvant. The surface chemical properties of the foliage substrate also have an effect on delivery. Certain surfactants interact synergistically to improve wetting and emulsion stability. This paper presents surface chemical data on methyl ester adjuvants and surfactants. The data has been obtained through the use of advanced testing methods such as the Owens-Wendt analysis and the Beta(β)-parameter technique. This information can be used to guide formulation in a quantitative fashion to make better adjuvant concentrates yielding more efficacious results. Instead of randomly selecting surfactants, ones that interact synergistically (verified through β-parameter calculation and simple surface chemical experimentation) can be tested. Surfactants that interact antagonistically should not be tested. Also, surfactants with the requisite total, polar and dispersive surface energies relative to the substrate are selected for early evaluation.
surface chemistry, surface tension, contact angle, Owens-Wendt, β-parameter, surfactants, methyl esters, alkylpolyglycosides, adjuvant formulation
Senior Member Technical Staff, Henkel Corporation Research, Ambler, PA
Technical Manager, Agricultural Specialties, Henkel Corporation, Cincinnati, OH