The challenge of maximizing crop production to support the world’s growing population while minimizing environmental impact, decreasing operating costs and aligning with global regulations has become increasingly important for the commercial agriculture industry. Now, the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have heightened awareness of the need for responsible food systems based on sustainable agriculture. To solve these challenges, pine-based chemistry provider Ingevity continues to innovate and develop high-performing agricultural co-formulants made almost exclusively from renewable resources.
Ingevity’s agrochemical products provide benefits beyond industry norms, including reduced energy consumption, less waste generation and fewer greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, 77% of Ingevity’s revenue came from sustainable products in the fourth quarter of 20191 . The diagram below provides insight into some of the environmental benefits Ingevity considers when innovating sustainable products.
Sustainable agrochemical solutions
offers an array of sustainable co-formulants for various crop
protection and plant health applications (see figure below). Many of
these co-formulants are available for use in organic formulations and
are United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) bio-preferred listed
materials. Ingevity’s plant-derived co-formulants help enhance the
sustainability and performance of end formulations and are designed to
protect growers and the environment. Ingevity co-formulants with
excellent safety have no Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) usage
limits and are fully REACH- and TSCA-registered. The excellent
performance of these products also results in lower application rates
and longer retreatment intervals, minimizing grower exposure.
What makes Ingevity co-formulants so sustainable?
Ingevity’s co-formulants are all derived from a renewable resource — the pine tree. Ingevity’s main raw materials are co-products from the kraft paper pulping process which utilizes sustainable forests to make highly recyclable paper products. In sustainable forests, more trees are planted than are used for raw materials and trees are young when initially harvested. Younger trees are extremely efficient at extracting carbon dioxide and purifying the air.
The components of the pine tree that can’t be utilized for paper (lignin and tall oil) are derived to make a variety of high-performing, bio-based products. Lignin extracted from pine trees serves as the main building block for Ingevity dispersants and micronutrient complexing agents. Tall oil from pine trees can be used for adjuvants, solvents, fertilizer coatings, and oil-based stabilizers for oil dispersion (OD) formulations. These products are produced in an environmentally responsibly operated plant that utilizes solar power and exceeds the highest standards for recycling and emission control.
Ingevity’s bio-based products offer high-performing solutions that improve the safety of agrochemical products and help reduce the impact on water, soil, air and wildlife. The low volatile organic compound (VOC) properties of Ingevity solvents and adjuvants help protect the air around us. In addition to the benefits above, Ingevity adjuvants protect waterways through runoff prevention from anti-leaching properties that retain pesticides and fertilizers in the soil near the plant root system.
How can Ingevity co-formulants improve the sustainability of your end formulation?
There are five key performance- and sustainability-enhancing benefits provided by Ingevity’s co-formulants:
• Better field efficacy
• Excellent performance with high loading, multi-active premixes
• Less pesticide resistance
• Reduced pesticide application rates and longer retreatment intervals
• Excellent safety and performance with a wide range of biological actives
Better Field Efficacy
Better field efficacy is achieved through protecting sensitive active ingredients with Ingevity kraft lignosulfonates. This protection applies to both UV sensitive conventional pesticide actives and UV sensitive bacteria and viruses. Graph 1 shows how 90% survival rate of Bacillus megaterium is achieved when using kraft lignosulfonates and Graph 2 shows how 90% protection of imidacloprid is possible with kraft lignosulfonates.
Excellent performance with high-loading, multi-active premixes
Ingevity kraft lignosulfonates allow formulators to achieve high active loading and multi-active systems by providing excellent coverage and steric stabilization when used as a dispersant. With more than 20 different dispersants available with various molecular weights and degrees of sulfonation, Ingevity experts can help you find the perfect match to optimize suspension and stability of your formulation.
Less pesticide resistance
Ingevity’s solvent line, AltaSolv®, can be used to achieve less pesticide resistance in the field. These high-performing solvents result in improved pesticide performance, which allows less pesticide to be applied to the crops, lowering resistance development. AltaSolv also has significantly lower VOC content and environmental toxicity when compared to aromatic solvents.
Graph 3 shows the active solubility of AltaSolv compared to methylated soybean oil and aromatic solvents for the active ingredients tebuconazole and azoxystrobin. The solubility is highest for both actives when using AltaSolv. Photo 1 shows the stability of formulations when using AltaSolv compared to other bio-based solvents such as butyl lactate. The left shows an emulsifiable concentrate (EC) formulation of tebuconazole with butyl lactate as the solvent and the right shows an EC formulation of tebuconazole and AltaSolv. While butyl lactate causes crystallization over time, the AltaSolv formulation remains stable.
Reduced pesticide application rates and longer retreatment intervals
Ingevity adjuvants provide excellent rainfastness allowing for reduced pesticide application rate and increased retreatment intervals by keeping the pesticide on the targeted surface for longer periods of time. The case studies below show the amount of product remaining on the leaf surface after rain when using AltaHance®, a new line of sticker adjuvants from Ingevity. Graph 4 shows a 40% retention increase of a biological formulation when using AltaHance and Graph 5 shows an 80% increase in rainfastness of a copper fungicide. These results can be achieved by incorporating just 4% AltaHance into the overall formulation.
Excellent safety and performance with a wide range of biological actives
Ingevity recently developed AltaBio™ — a new line of dispersants designed for biological formulations. With more than 90% bio-derived content, AltaBio has excellent safety, suspensibility and wettability properties. This product can be used for biological suspension concentrates (SCs) and water-dispersible granule (WDG) formulations.
Improve the sustainability and efficacy of your formulations
Ingevity’s agrochemicals technical team can help you utilize the key advantages of Ingevity’s co-formulants by offering confidential, complimentary co-development of difficult formulations. Through ongoing technical support and seminars, Ingevity can share new data and advice for formulating with dispersants, adjuvants, solvents and other co-formulants.
1 Ingevity’s sustainability team calculated the percentage of Ingevity’s products, by revenue, that the company defines as sustainable. 2019 Sustainability Report
This article was initially published in AgroPages ‘Annual Review 2020’ magazine. Download it to read more articles.