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The development of agricultural formulations is becoming increasingly complex and there is a need to develop them more easily and efficiently. Laboratory robotics offer some help in meeting this need. To explore this promise of help, a study was undertaken to determine some of the merits and limitations of robotics for developing formulations.
A decision was made to explore the preparation of emulsifiable concentrate (EC) formulations with a laboratory robotics system. This was believed to be an easy example to study and other more difficult tasks could be attempted later if the study warranted.
The equipment used, computer algorithms developed, and procedures used for the preparation and testing of EC formulations are described.
The development of a sample formulation is described along with the visualization of the data with triangular coordinate plots. Some of the limitations found are pointed out and some areas meriting future study are mentioned.
Robotics, agricultural formulations, emulsifiable concentrates, triangular coordinate plots
Senior Research Specialist, the Monsanto Agricultural Company, St. Louis, MO