Ultrasonic Agrochemicals Manufacturing
- Formulating agrochemicals includes the dispersion, dissolving, emulsification, and homogenization of the compounds. Ultrasound is a reliable mixing technique for high quality chemical suspensions.
- Ultrasonic dispersing and dissolving allows to produce high load formulations at high dispersion speed.
- Ultrasonic formulating enables to prepare and modify active ingredients such as nano particles and polymers.
Ultrasonic Manufacture of Agricultural Chemicals
The manufacturing process of agrochemicals – such as fertilizers (e.g. nitrogen- and phosphorus-based) and pesticides for crop protection (e.g. herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, rodenticides) as well as other agrochemical active substances – requires reliable milling, dispersing, dissolving, and emulsification of the ingredients of the final product. Power-ultrasound provides reliable mixing, homogenization and blending by cavitation-generated high shear forces.
Ultrasonic Formulating of Agrochemicals:
- Synthesis of nano particles
- Wettening & Hydration
- Particle functionalization
- Sonochemical Synthesis
- Phase transfer catalysis (PTC)
The quality and effectiveness of agrochemicals is highly depending on the concentration, size and shape of active substances and additives as well as their interaction. This means that the dispersion, emulsion or suspension of the additives and active substances influences the expression of the desired features of a fertilizer or pesticide substantially. To produce high quality specialty chemicals such as agrochemicals, the liquid or solid particles must reliably processed: Ultrasonic milling and homogenizing results in stable dispersions and finally in high-quality chemical product.
Hielscher’s range of ultrasonic dispersers and homogenizers offers the suitable “work-horse” for your application!
Aside from additives, agrochemicals usually consist of one or more active substances which give the formulation the desired properties. Depending on the type of product, agrochemicals are formulated as dispersions, emulsions, suspensions, microemulsions, and various controlled-release systems. The control of the interaction forces between the droplets or particles is essential to obtain long-term stable formulations.
As ultrasonic delivers high power shear forces, it is a very reliable tool to disperse powders, to emulsify oils and waxes, to mill particles to the targeted size (sub-micron or nano), to dissolve salts and electrolytes, and to blend the final product into a uniform formulation. Besides mixing and homogenization, power-ultrasound enables for manifold chemical reactions such as synthesis, catalysis (e.g. PTC), polymerization as well as for the synthesis and functionalization of nano particles.
Agrochemical formulation types include:
- Wettable Powders (WP)
- Water Dispersible Granules (WDG)
- Dry Flowables (DF)
- Flowables or Suspension Concentrates (SC)
- Emulsifiable Concentrates (EC)
- Soluble Liquid Concentrates (SLC)
- Water Soluble Granules (WSG)
The application of ultrasonic waves to liquid processes is a proven method of process intensification. Hielscher supplies ultrasonic process equipment for any scale – from lab homogenizer and pilot ultrasonicators to the industrial ultrasonic machinery for the inline sonication of large volume streams. Hielscher’s ultrasonicators are built for heavy-duty applications in demanding environments and are reliable at 24/7 operation. All processes can be linearly up-scaled from R&D to the commercial production level. Low maintenance, safe operation and retrofitting option are further advantages.
Advantages of Ultrasonic Chemical Processing:
- High quality products
- Reliable ultrasonication
- Precisely controllable process conditions
- From R&D to production with Hielscher’s lab homogenizers, bench-top devices and industrial systems
- Fine chemicals manufacturing from kg to multi-ton batches
- Batch and inline processing
- Easy and safe operation
- Green, environmental-friendly technique
- ATEX-certified systems available
- Pimentel, David (2002): Encyclopedia of Pest Management. CRC Press 2002.
- Tadros, Tharwat (2013): Agrochemical Formulations. in: Encyclopedia of Colloid and Interface Science. Springer 2013. 3-80.
Components of Agrochemicals
Agrochemical formulations are composed of various components. The most important ingredients include the active substances (such as chlorinated hydrocarbons e.g. DDT, 2,4-D, 2,4,5-T), organophosphates e.g. parathion and malathion, carbamates e.g carbaryl and carbofuran, triazine e.g. atrazine and simazine), polymers, nano particles, electrolytes (e.g. salts of glyphosate, fomesafen, glufosinate, paraquat), surfactant liquid crystals, intermediates (e.g. 2,2-Dimethoxypropane), gel systems, carriers (e.g. hydrocarbon fluids), anionic & non-ionic surfactants, adjuvants, oils, stabilizers and emulsifiers. These components must be reliably processed to formulate an effective agricultural product that protects plants and crop from harmful pest, pathogens and desease.
Hielscher Ultrasonics’ homogenizers are the preferred mixing equipment to produce high quality chemicals. The cavitational shear forces of Hielscher’s powerful ultrasonicators excels conventional mixing methods. Industrial ultrasonics, such as the UIP10000 or UIP16000, handle easily high volume streams at high flow rates. For the processing of critical substances, ATEX-rated ultrasonicators are available.
Facts Worth Knowing
Ultrasonic tissue homogenizers are often referred to as probe sonicator/ sonificator, sonic lyser, ultrasound disruptor, ultrasonic grinder, sono-ruptor, sonifier, sonic dismembrator, cell disrupter, ultrasonic disperser, emulsifier or dissolver. The different terms result from the various applications that can be fulfilled by sonication.