How does it work? PDF Print E-mail

How does MPC adjuvant work?

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Secondary MPC function as a surfactant

To understand how adjuvant works, it helps to understand how water works. Each water molecule is bipolar, meaning it has a negative and a positive charge, very much like a magnet.If you put several water molecules together, the positive and negative forces attract each other (Figure 1).

Diagram 1
Figure 1. The interacting charges of water molecules
(oxygen represented in blue -negatively charged and hydrogen represented in red - positively charged).


The molecules on the surface of a water droplet are held together with more force than those of the interior water molecules. This causes surface tension, which can prevent many things from going into solution and getting wet. Surfactants overcome surface tension. Most surfactants have a water-loving polar head (hydrophilic head) and water-hating non-polar tail (hydrophobic tail) (Figure 2).

Diagram 2
Figure 2. Components of a surfactant molecule.

These components of a surfactant molecule help break water surface tension, allowing the pesticide to be more evenly dispersed on a surface and to reach its target. When water molecules come into contact with unlike substances, several things may happen. If the substances have a similar charge, the two forces repel each other. If they have different charges, the two forces will attract each other. If there are no charges, there will be no reaction. Water, when placed on most hydrophobic surfaces, will bead. This beading is caused by surface tension, and this surface tension can be reduced by the addition of surfactants (Figure 3).

Diagram 3
Figure 3. Water beads and how they are affected by surfactants.

The lower the surface tension in a pesticide solution, the better the pesticide coverage, allowing more pesticide to reach its target.