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Journal of hazardous materials

Controlling pesticide release via structuring agropolymer and nanoclays based materials.


PMID 22230752

Abstract

The potential use of nanoclays for modulating transfer properties of active agents in bio-sourced polymers was explored. For this purpose, new pesticide formulations were designed by combining wheat gluten, ethofumesate (model pesticide) and three montmorillonites (MMT) using a bi-vis extrusion process. Controlled release properties, evaluated through release experiments in water, were discussed in relation to the material formulations and their resulting structure. Partition coefficients were calculated from experimental data and diffusivity values were identified with a Fick's second law mechanistic model. The effect of temperature on release pattern was also evaluated and the activation energy of diffusion was determined. Ethofumesate release was slowed down for all wheat gluten based-formulations as compared to the commercial product. This slow release effect was increased in the presence of hydrophobic MMTs, due to a higher affinity for ethofumesate than for wheat gluten. Contrarily, hydrophilic MMT, displaying a greater affinity for wheat gluten than for ethofumesate seemed ineffective to slow down its release despite the tortuous pathway achieved through a well-exfoliated structure. To conclude, the release mechanisms would be rather governed by pesticide/MMT interactions than MMT/polymer matrix in the case of a hydrophobic pesticide such as ethofumesate and a hydrophilic matrix such as wheat gluten.

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