1. Agriculture World

Novel Benign and Sustainable Adjuvants for Crop Protection Solutions

Dr. Lakshmi Unnithan
Dr. Lakshmi Unnithan

Adjuvants are of increasing importance in conventional pesticides says Rene Haensel (Global Head-R and D, Evonik Industries Pvt Ltd). Rene was speaking on the Novel Benign and Sustainable Adjuvant delivery systems at the 14th International Crop Science Conference & Exhibition (ICSCE) organized by the Pesticides Manufacturers and Formulators Association of India (PMFAI).

An adjuvant is a substance that is added to the spray tank that will improve the performance of the pesticide. Adjuvants could be surfactants, spreader stickers, crop oils, anti-foaming materials, buffering agents, and compatibility agents. Surfactants are adjuvants that help and speed up the  dispersing, spreading, wetting properties of liquids.

Adjuvants are used in tank mix but also in Can. Sophisticated adjuvants generate an early breakup of the expanding water film directly after the nozzle which induces bigger droplets that are less prone to drift. A further important effect is related to the reduction of surface tension of the spray droplets increasing their adhesion on the leaf. The adjuvants interact with the cuticle wax resulting in better retention and increased penetration through the cuticle. Another side effect is humectant properties. Taken together all these effects increase the biological efficiency of agrochemicals and biosolutions and thereby enable solutions with the lowest environmental impact. This leads to a higher acceptance of these solutions by farmers and address the need of consumers for food with lower chemical residues.


Evonik Industries have their latest surfactant products like BREAK-THRU® S 301 which has a better dispersion of microbial actives in the spray solution, and excellent wetting in the application, helping increase the efficacy of microbial-based pesticides. BREAK-THRU® SD 260 is developed specifically for use in WP – formulations for chemical pesticides or for biopesticides. The product is the first water soluble, solid trisiloxane to provide humectant properties, and to offer excellent wetting properties as it includes BREAK-TRHU® S 301. BREAK-THRU® SP 133 has a natural carbon content of 93%, is readily biodegradable and comes without a hazardous label. Its raw materials glycerol and fatty acids are derived from different vegetable oils. BREAK-THRU® SF 420 is a sophorolipid-based surfactant manufactured by the fermentation of rapeseed oil and sugar. This vegetable, not genetically modified feedstock is sourced in Europe. The yeast strain used is also a natural microorganism: Starmerella bombicola. It is a readily biodegradable biosurfactant with dispersing und wetting properties

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