Hebei Lansheng Biotech Co., Ltd. ShangHai Yuelian Biotech Co., Ltd.

Ingevity: Optimal inerts for the growing biologicals marketqrcode

Jan. 26, 2022

Favorites Print
Jan. 26, 2022

United States  United States


The global agricultural biologicals market continues to grow thanks to increases in organic farming, biotic and abiotic factors affecting plant health, favorable government regulations and an industry drive toward sustainable farming. Given the steady improvement and availability of biological products, biological input technology continues to gain popularity among farmers.

Biologicals represent a broad category of plant protection products, including biopesticides and biostimulants, that are derived from living organisms. Growers use biologicals to complement chemical products in integrated pest management (IPM) programs or as a stand-alone method for protecting plants from disease, insect pests and competition from weeds.

Biologicals market at a glance

The global biological inputs market is rapidly increasing at a rate of 13-15% per year,1 significantly outperforming the chemical crop protection market’s annual growth rate of 3%.2 Regionally, differences exist regarding the use of these products.

North America and Europe currently represent over 60% of the biological inputs market, but Latin America, specifically Brazil, is growing exponentially at a rate of 28% per year.3,4 According to Crop Life Brazil, nearly 23 million hectares of Brazilian land are currently treated with biological products.3 Many of Brazil’s main crops, such as soybean, sugarcane and cotton, are treated with biologicals, while the majority of other markets use biologicals on mostly fruits and vegetables.4 According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply (MAPA), 95 new biological products were registered in Brazil in 2020, leading the way for new biological product development.4 To address the growing interest in biologicals, the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa) developed an application which offers users the bio-input options registered by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply (MAPA) in the National Bio-Input Catalog.5 There is a strong belief that Brazil will be the leader of bio-inputs used in agriculture, outpacing Europe and North America, by increasing the use of bio-inputs to 20% of crop protection products by 2025.6,7

The agriculture industry’s strong interest in biologicals has increased the demand for high-quality, high-performing, bio-based and biodegradable formulations. A typical biological formulation is composed of biological active ingredients, such as bacteria or fungus, as well as various inerts including dispersants, surfactants, anti-freeze agents, rheology modifiers and adjuvants. Inerts comprise 20-80% of most formulations and are critical to achieve the desired performance requirements.

However, the importance of these inerts is often underestimated since they do not have direct pesticidal effects. While the working mechanisms of some inerts remain unclear, they are essential components to enhance the performance of active ingredients. Inerts provide improved dispersion, formulation stability, penetration, adhesion, drift control, rainfastness and more. In order to achieve optimal biological formulations, inerts must be chosen carefully as they can affect the performance and sustainability of the end-use product.

Optimize biological formulations with Ingevity’s sustainable inerts

Ingevity’s plant-derived co-formulants help enhance the sustainability and performance of formulations and are designed to protect growers and the environment. Ingevity co-formulants are extremely safe to use with no EPA usage limits and are fully REACH and TSCA registered. The enhanced performance of these products also results in lower application rates and longer retreatment intervals, minimizing grower exposure. Ingevity’s co-formulants are all derived from a renewable resource —pine trees. Our main raw materials, lignin and tall oil, are co-products from the kraft paper pulping process which utilizes sustainable forests to make highly recyclable paper products (see Figure 1). These products are produced in an environmentally responsibly operated plant that has a solar array and exceeds the highest standards for recycling and emission control.

Product Chain Graphic-01.png

Figure 1. Ingevity's main raw materials, lignin and tall oil, are co-products from the kraft paper pulping process which utilizes sustainable forests to make highly recyclable paper products

Ingevity offers several lines of products to address bio-derived and biodegradable inert needs for all agrochemical formulations (see Figure 2).

The AltaBio™ line is a new generation of dispersants, specifically designed to meet the complex challenges of biological formulations, especially with extremely hydrophobic biological species, such as Beauveria bassiana. Based on kraft lignosulfonate technology, the AltaBio product line offers excellent safety, suspensibility and wettability for suspension concentrate (SC), wettable powder (WP) and water dispersible granule (WDG) formulations, in addition to 100% UV protection and safety to most of the biologicals. Several of AltaBio products are OMRI-compliant offerings for organic applications and some have additional advanced wetting properties.

Additionally, Ingevity’s bio-based adjuvants, AltaHance™ and AltaStick®, are highly effective at low dosages and enhance the performance of biopesticides by increasing the retention of the active ingredients under challenging weather conditions. Both AltaHance and AltaStick can be used as tank-mix or in-can adjuvants for various formulation types including suspension concentrate (SC), emulsifiable contentrate (EC), oil dispersion (OD), solution (SL), and suspoemulsion (SE). These adjuvants are fully biodegradable and offer increased safety properties.

AltaSolv™, Ingevity’s latest new green solvent product line, can be used as a stand-alone product or in combination with other solvents to enhance their performance and bio-based content. For OD formulations, our latest oil product line, AltaOil™, can be used as a high-performing, stand-alone or in combination with other oils. Both lines show enhanced compatibility with other solvents, oils and surfactants, and have increased bio-based content, improved level of safety and extremely low VOCs.

Ingevity’s legacy kraft lignosulfonates are excellent choices for use as micronutrient complexing agents to aid in maximum uptake of essential micronutrients for plant health. They provide hydroscopic properties that prevent drying of micronutrient solutions and multilevel interactions with soluble nutrients without leaf burn. These products provide better performance compared to the industry standard ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) for foliage applications.

Additionally, Ingevity’s Altapyne® product line, which is derived from pine tree tall oil, enhances fertilizers as a biodegradable, slow-release fertilizer coating. With zero VOCs, 100% bio-derived green content and USDA BioPreferred product certification, it is a great approach for a more environmentally friendly bio-fertilizer input.


Figure 2. Ingevity inerts for biological formulations

Sustainable solutions for biological formulations

As the importance of biological products increases, it is crucial that bio-based and biodegradable inerts are incorporated into formulations to achieve a more sustainable end-use product. A high-quality inert is critical to maintaining the performance and stability of the formulations. Ingevity’s high-performing, 100% bio-based and biodegradable inerts help customers optimize biological formulations by enhancing properties without sacrificing sustainability.  


1. Dunham Trimmer International BioIntelligence, July 2018; Informa, 2019, BPIA 2021
2. Ranking List of Global Top 20 Agrochemical Enterprises for FY2020, Grace Yuan, AgroPages, September 2021
3. Crop Life Brazil (2020)
4. Brazil Set New Record for Biopesticide Registrations in 2020,  including the list of all registered products, Leonardo Gottems, AgroPages December 28, 2021
5. Aplicativo Bioinsumos - Portal Embrapa
6. Mercado de biodefensivos cresce mais de 70% no Brasil em um ano — Português (Brasil) (www.gov.br)
7. Home - CropLife Brazil

This article was initially published in AgroPages' 'Annual Review 2021' magazine.


Source: Ingevity


More from AgroNewsChange

Hot Topic More

I wanna post a press Comment


Subscribe Email: *
Mobile Number:  





Subscribe AgroNews Daily Alert to send news related to your mailbox