Surfactants - Knowledgebase Question

Moneta, VA
Question by paitsee1
February 11, 2000
I would like to know what is a surfactant and why would you use it?


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Answer from NGA
February 11, 2000

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Surfactants, also known as additives or adjuvants, improve pesticide coverage, thus reducing the amount needed and the risk of drift. When added to a pesticide, a surfactant reduces the surface tension between two unlike materials. For instance, it may help oil and water mix to form a spray, or it may help spray droplets stick to a leaf.

Many pesticide products contain surfactants, and some products suggest adding a surfactant when you mix the pesticide for spraying. The most common surfactants include suspension agents to help keep a pesticide suspended, disperants to enhance dispersion of the spray, or spreading and sticking agents, which increase wetting of leaves, fruits and stems, and improve the material's adherence to a plant surface.

Hope this answers your question!

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