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Emulsifiable concentrate (EC)

ECs are still one of the most common formulation types for crop protection products worldwide. When EC formulations are diluted with water in the spray tank they form a spontaneous emulsion, with emulsion droplets in the size range of 0.1 to 1.0μm.

The spontaneous emulsion can be achieved by selecting one or more surfactants based upon their ability to emulsify the solvent system, including the active ingredient, into water. It is by means of balancing the water soluble and oil soluble surfactant components at the water/solvent interface that a physically stable emulsion is formed. When sprayed, the dilute emulsion gives a uniform and accurate application of active ingredient on the crop, which is essential for effective pest control.

EC formulation diagram

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 EC

To improve the spontaneous emulsification of an EC on addition to water in the spray tank, anionic emulsifiers can be added. Due to the overall charge on an anionic emulsifier, it provides additional electrostatic stabilisation.

Atlox™ 4838B

Atlox™ 4838B

An oil-soluble anionic emulsifier for improved stability and blooming of formulations upon dilution. Commonly used as part of a triangle screen formulation approach.

Crodafos™ C10/<wbr>5A

Crodafos™ C10/5A

An alkoxylated phosphate ester with good performance as a wetting agent or emulsifier in highly loaded micronutrient systems.

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.

Looking for tips to formulate an EC? Contact us today!