Characterizing the rheological properties of wax emulsions used as carriers for biopesticides in agricultural pest management

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Kristen Dare Jordan (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site:
Cynthia Atterholt

Abstract: The purpose of this research was to characterize the rheological properties of various wax emulsions developed as carriers for biopesticides used for agricultural pest management. Wax emulsions have been developed as carriers for the controlled release of non-toxic materials such as insect pheromones and essential oils used in crop protection as part of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs. However, the rheological properties of these wax emulsion carriers had not been evaluated and reported in the literature. Therefore, to obtain a more thorough evaluation of these wax emulsions, the rheological properties were characterized.The data collected can be used to determine the best rheological properties for di fferent fi eld application methods. In this research, wax emulsions were prepared using diff erent formulations, such as diff erent waxes, emulsfi ers, and biopesticides, and di fferent concentrations of each. These emulsions were tested using an Anton Paar® Physica MCR 101 rheometer. The goal was to characterize the rheological properties to understand how the various components aff ect the overall behavior and application of these emulsions. The biopesiticides explored were insect pheromones used for mating disruption in IPM and essential oils that are used as deer feeding deterrents for crops and landscaping plants. Geranyl propionate was used as a substitute for insect pheromones because it is structurally similar to many insect sex pheromones and is less expensive. The insect pheromone emulsions had a high viscosity allowing the emulsions to be applied in thick masses with a low surface area to achieve long term release of the volatile pheromones. Wax emulsions were also prepared with a small concentration of spearmint oil, which has been shown to be an e ffective feeding deterrent for white-tailed deer. The emulsions containing spearmint oil were prepared with a lower viscosity compared to the insect pheromone emulsions. This was done so that the emulsions could be e ffectively sprayed onto plant surfaces. It was found that both paran wax and soy wax were eff ective for the insect pheromone emulsions. However, when investigating the deer feeding deterrent emulsions, the soy wax emulsions displayed rheological properties more suited for spraying.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2016
Biopesticides, Characterization, Rheology, Wax Emulsions
Emulsions -- Testing
Agricultural pests -- Integrated control
Insect pests -- Integrated control
Pests -- Integrated control
Natural pesticides

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