Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, Vol.586, 190-199, 2021
What happens when pesticides are solubilised in binary ionic/zwitterionic-nonionic mixed micelles?
Hypothesis: Surfactants have been widely used as adjuvants in agri-sprays to enhance the solubility of pesticides in foliar spray deposits and their mobility through leaf cuticles. Previously, we have characterised pesticide solubilisation in nonionic surfactant micelles, but what happens when pesticides become solubilised in anionic, cationic and zwitterionic and their mixtures with nonionic surfactants remain poorly characterised. Experiments: To facilitate characterisations by SANS and NMR, we used nonionic surfactant hexaethylene glycol monododecyl ether (C12E6), anionic sodium dodecylsulphate (SDS), cationic dodecyltrimethylammonium bromide (DTAB) and zwitterionic dodecylphosphocholine (C12PC) as model adjuvant systems to solubilise 3 pesticides, Cyprodinil (CP), Azoxystrobin (AZ) and Difenoconazole (DF), representing different structural features. The investigation focused on the influence of solubilisates in driving changes to the micellar nanostructures in the absence or presence of electrolytes. NMR and NOESY were applied to investigate the solubility and location of each pesticide in the micelles. SANS was used to reveal subtle changes to the micellar structures due to pesticide solubilisation with and without electrolytes. Findings: Unlike nonionic surfactants, the ionic and zwitterionic surfactant micellar structures remain unchanged upon pesticide solubilisation. Electrolytes slightly elongate the ionic surfactant micelles but have no effect on nonionic and zwitterionic surfactants. Pesticide solubilisation could alter the structures of the binary mixtures of ionic/zwitterionic and ionic/nonionic micelles by causing elongation, shell shrinkage and dehydration, with the exact alteration being determined by the molar ratio in the mixture. (C) 2020 Published by Elsevier Inc.