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Concentrated aqueous emulsion (EW)

They can be considered as a safer and more environmentally friendly alternative to emulsifiable concentrates (EC). In an EW the continuous phase is water (as opposed to an organic solvent for ECs) which offers the benefit of lower phytotoxicity, no flashpoint concern, ease of handling, and a lower environmental impact. 

EW formulation diagram

EW formulations are physically stabilised by specifically identified polymeric surfactants incorporated at an appropriate level. The emulsion has already been established in the formulation and is only diluted further in the spray mixture.

Benefits
  • Simple to manufacture
  • Relatively high biological activity
  • Good chemical stability
  • Spontaneous emulsification upon dilution

Limitations
  • Use expensive solvents containing harmful VOCs
  • Solvents may affect plastics and rubbers in spray applicators
  • Active ingredients needs to be fully soluble in the solvent over a range of temperatures
  • Use of water miscible solvents can cause active ingredient crystallisation problems upon dilution

The Formulator's Toolbox (Full Version)

The Formulator's Toolbox
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Products recommended for EW

We recommend the combination of a low and high HLB polymeric surfactant to obtain EW formulations with excellent, long term stability. This surfactant combination ensures that the formulation maintains stability over a range of application temperatures.

Atlas™ G-5004 LD

Atlas™ G-5004 LD

A demineralised version of Atlas™ G-5002L. It is used as a high HLB emulsifier for active ingredients that are sensitive to mineral presence.

Atlas™ G-5002L

Atlas™ G-5002L

A high HLB polymeric emulsifier or wetting agent in liquid form providing long term stability It is commonly used in combination with Atlox™ 4916 for emulsions or Atlox Metasperse 500L for.....

SP Tween™ 22 MBAL

SP Tween™ 22 MBAL

A high HLB emulsifier and adjuvant applicable for both built-in and tank mix applications The significantly reduced equilibrium surface tension compared to Tween 20 gives the product excellent spray.....

SP Tween™ 23 MBAL

SP Tween™ 23 MBAL

A high HLB emulsifier and adjuvant applicable for both built-in and tank mix applications. Improved performance identified with various hydrophilic herbicides.

SP Tween™ 24 MBAL

SP Tween™ 24 MBAL

A high HLB emulsifier and adjuvant applicable for both built-in and tank mix applications. Strong all round performing adjuvant and strategic emulsifier for use with low HLB partner in microemulsions

Example formulations

Formulation finder

Browse our formulation finder to view a range of fully developed formulations for inspiration and guidance.

Agronomist in field

Experimental design tool

This tool enables you to methodically calculate surfactant ratios meaning unnecessary experiments are kept to a minimum.

Scientist testing a crop protection formulation

The Formulator's Toolbox

We have designed The Formulator’s Toolbox to give formulation scientists an introduction to each of these formulation types.

Check out our resource library to understand more about formulating EW.