SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 2001

Monobranched Alcohol Alkoxylates: A New Generation of Surfactants for Use in Crop Protection


Monobranched alcohol alkoxylates (Atplus® MBA and Atlox® MBA) are a special class of alcohol alkoxylates with specific properties related to the monobranched structure of the hydrophobe. The availability of different alkyl chain lengths (C11 to C15) and ethoxylation / alkoxylation degrees (from 6 to 30 EO) results in a range of surfactants which has been selected as preferred replacement products for nonyl phenol ethoxylates without carrying a hazard classification. The particular type of branching of the hydrophobe results in lower gelling and foaming tendency compared to linear alcohol alkoxylates with similar carbon chain lengths and alkoxylation degree. The compact nature of the hydrophobe is responsible for the very fast dynamic behaviour which makes MBAs very suitable as adjuvants for pesticides. Furthermore, MBAs show lamellar liquid crystalline phases which are less viscous at higher concentrations than linear counterparts. Monobranched alcohol alkoxylates have shown to be efficient in enhancing the bio-efficacy of selective and non-selective herbicides and fungicides.

Author Information

Rommens, JCG
Uniqema, Everberg, Belgium
Davies, SJ
ICI, Middlesbrough, UK
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Developed by Committee: E35
Pages: 213–220
DOI: 10.1520/STP10730S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5459-9
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-2891-0