The market preference for a ‘dry’ spray formulation over a liquid presents certain formulating challenges to the agrochemical manufacturer. Liquid or paste-like adjuvants are not easy to include in dry formulations, and adjuvants that are waxy or solid at ambient temperatures are not readily soluble in tank-mix applications.
In response, we have developed a unique urea clathrate technology, Atplus™ UCL-1007 and Atplus S-10, which are highly ethoxylated surfactants entrapped in a helix-type urea structure. The surfactant rod is surrounded by a spiral structure of urea particles, resulting in a free-flowing powder that is also water soluble. Highly ethoxylated surfactants usually form a gel when diluted in (cold) water. The urea in the clathrate structure acts as a ‘gel-breaker’ and gelling of the surfactant is avoided when applied as a urea clathrate.
In tests, Atplus UCL-1007 reduced the actives dose required by up to 50% in a herbicide application when compared with a traditional liquid tank-mix adjuvant, thereby reducing the overall cost of the formulation. The optimised surfactant-urea complex is recommended as an adjuvant in tank-mix applications and for dry formulations such as water dispersible granule (WDG) and wettable powders (WP). Atplus UCL-1007 improves wetting and spray retention properties and additionally the urea is an excellent source of nitrogen for crops.
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