Copyright 2021 by Scot G. Patterson. All rights reserved.
Smaller Is Better
I have spent more than six years reviewing research literature and conducting hundreds of laboratory experiments to develop sophisticated formulas for our natural pesticides that comply with EPA minimum-risk pesticide standards. These formulas were created using a high-energy processor to produce extremely small droplets of essential plant oils that are encapsulated by specialized emulsifiers that automatically surround the oil droplets to form micelles. These micelles have a slight electrostatic charge causing them to repel one another and disperse evenly throughout a solution. As a result, our nanotechnology pesticides do not require mixing or stirring. The smaller particles penetrate plant and insect tissues better, release the active ingredient more quickly, use less extraneous chemicals that can be toxic to plant tissues, and the finer spray covers the leaf surface more evenly and efficiently. One of our first nanotechnology pesticides was tested in 2015 at the University of Oregon’s Nanoparticle Lab using Dynamic Light Scattering. The results confirmed a particle size of 32 nanometers. This is well within the nanometer range, which begins at 100 nanometers or smaller. The new formula that I developed in 2020 was tested at the University of Oregon's Lokey Research Center with a measured particle size of just 9 nanometers. For those of you who are not familiar with this scale, 9 nanometers is the size of 45 carbon atoms sitting side by side.
The Difference Is Clear
Nanotechnology suspensions are clear or translucent because the particles are so small that they don’t interfere with light passing through the solution. This provides a very useful index for my experimental work in the lab because I can evaluate the outcome by its clarity.
With clarity in mind, it is apparent that my competitors in the natural pesticides industry are not using nanotechnology. Their formulas are cloudy and unstable because they are relatively crude oil/water suspensions. These formulas require more extraneous ingredients in addition to the active ingredient(s) to keep everything suspended in water. And therein lies the problem – the additional chemistry can be toxic to plant tissue. It also requires the user to be vigilant about shaking the mixture to keep it evenly mixed. Years ago, I made that mistake in my own garden – most of the sprayed plants received almost no active ingredient and the last couple of plants received most of it and died a few days later. Our new line of nanotechnology pesticides eliminates this problem.
Nanotechnology is the wave of the future. The reason that my competitors are not currently using it in their products is that the high-energy processing is an extra step, the machine is expensive, and the chemistry is very sophisticated. As gardeners discover the advantages of nanotechnology pesticides, products embracing this new technology will gradually replace the older, cruder pesticides that you see on the shelf today.
“Nanotechnology has become one of the most promising new technologies for pest control. Thus nanotechnology will revolutionize pest management in the near future. Nanoparticles help to produce new pesticides, insecticides, and insect repellents.”
Prospects of Botanical Biopesticides in Insect Pest Management. H. Khater, Pharmacologica 3(12): 641-656, 2012.