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Whenever a new active ingredient is synthesized or an old active requires reformulation or optimization, the first question which arises is how to (re)formulate it into a viable commercial product. Industry experience dictates that, in most cases, the preferred formulation type is a liquid formulation containing a solution (SL or EC) of the new active. But how is the best solvent found?
The use of solution theory and, in particular, solubility parameters is the answer to this question. Solubility parameters were developed from the fundamental idea that “like dissolves like”. Thermodynamicists like J. H. Hildebrand quantified this idea and chemists like H. Burrell and C. M. Hansen applied it to practical solution problems, mainly in the coatings industry. There has, however, been very little application of solubility parameters principles to Agricultural Chemical problems.
In this paper, some of the fundamental ideas behind solubility parameter theory will be presented together with a practical example of how these ideas can be applied to solve AgChem problems, to save significant laboratory screening time and to save money in choosing the best solvent or solvent combination for an application.
Hildebrand parameter, pesticide, solubility, solubility parameter
Senior Staff Chemist, Intermediates Technology, Exxon Chemical Company, Baytown, Texas