Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, Vol.556, 650-657, 2019
How does solubilisation of plant waxes into nonionic surfactant micelles affect pesticide release?
Hypothesis: Nonionic surfactants are used as adjuvants in agri-sprays to stabilise pesticides, but what happens when pesticide-loaded micelles are brought into direct contact with plant leaves? As pesticide solubilisation dehydrates the micellar shell and increases the effective hydrophobicity of the surfactant, we hypothesise that these micelles would uptake plant waxes and alter the amount of pesticide solubilized as a result of the re-equilibrating process. Experiments: The solubility of the pesticide cyprodinil (CP) and its effect on the shape of hexaethylene glycol monododecyl ether (C12E6) micelles were studied using changes in cloud point, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), cryogenic transmission electron microscopy (Cryo-TEM) and small-angle neutron scattering (SANS). Similarly, the solubility of wheat leaf waxes was examined, as was the effect of adding leaf waxes to pre-dissolved cyprodinil in micellar C12E6. Findings: Wax solubilisation caused pesticide release and shell hydration, and shortened the length of the cylindrical micelles of the CP loaded C12E6. Temperature increase led to a significant rise in the amount of the dissolved waxes, increased pesticide release, increased micellar length, and caused shrinkage and dehydration of the shell. This study indicates that agrochemical sprays are capable of dissolving leaf waxes, and may trigger pesticide release from surfactant micelles upon contact with plant surfaces. (C) 2019 Published by Elsevier Inc.