We developed a completely new approach to improve pesticide deposition on plant leaves in agriculture and horticulture. Pesticide is the common name for sometimes largely different compounds such as herbicides, fungicides and insecticides used for crop protection. Enormous amounts of pesticides are used in agriculture: total E.U. sales (in the year 2000) exceed 6000 Million € per year, representing 320 000 tons of material. A large part of sprayed pesticides never reaches the plants but falls directly on the soil or into surface water, causing strong adverse ecological effects without any benefit to health or yield of the crop.
In its report of 19 February 2003, the environmental commission of the European Parliament requests that “urgent and obligatory actions be taken in order to reduce by half the coming ten years the quantities of pesticides used”. Our achievement is an important step in achieving this goal and reduce the loss of pesticides on the soil and in the surface water.
The problem is twofold. First, the plants retain only part of the spray: many drops end up on the soil because the hydrophobic character of the leaves causes the bumping-off of the droplets. Second, the wind makes small droplets drift away from the plants and end up on the soil and in the surface water around the field. Very small droplets end up airbound anyway. We have developed a technology with an additive, SQUALL, that tackles the two problems at the same time:
A. an increased deposition on the plants and
B. narrow drop size distribution to efficiently reduce the drift.
Squall is an environmentally friendly polymer, used in many consumer products (for instance tooth paste).
In field tests we also found that the rain fastness (resistance to rain) improved at least 15 %.
The principle is applicable to all pesticides. The investigations consisted of laboratory work and a number of tests on semi-technical scale and subsequently field test to determine the performance in practice conditions. We succeeded to diminish the use of pesticides by at least 15%, and sometimes (with some pesticides) as much as 50%, with the same plant protection. The completely new approach was pioneered by Prof. D. Bonn (one of the partners) and his fundamental work on the subject already caught a lot of attention in the international press: more than 18 leading papers and TV-stations have reported on it .
We can estimate that the market of Squall in the EU alone is over 500 Million €.
The development was partly financed by a grant from the European Commission in the EUREKA-programme.
Currently the Ministry of Roads and Waterways is given substantial financial support for the start-up of marketing and sales.
Bovenstaande tekst aangevuld met enkele test resultaten en referenties kunt u hier downloaden.
Green! is the company of Prof. Dr.Daniel Bonn. He has developed the principles on which this project is based and also the measuring methods that are unique in the world and necessary to achieve our goal: methods to characterize 1. the (dynamic) surface tension and 2. the rheology of polymer solutions ( elongational viscosity measurement) .
Prof. D. Bonn is working both at the E.N.S. (Ecole Normale Superieur) at Paris and the University of Amsterdam.
IBET is a small technology development organization mainly working in the fields of waste recycling in horticulture/agriculture and industry. IBET works primarily as a technical service company in the field of environmental technology, for industry and as an advisor for the Dutch Ministry of Environmental Affairs and the ministry of Economical Affairs. It also co-ordinates large projects in the field of environmental technology for these customers, both national and international (projects of the European Commission). Apart from the project management of development and research projects it does also engineering of novel installations. A list of projects that have been supervised by IBET is available.
Director is Dr. Robert Bonn, coordinates on top of this page . Dr. R. Bonn is the contact adress for this project
University of Amsterdam
Currently most scientific work with regards to Squall is performed at the University of Amsterdam
Proefboerderij “Rusthoeve” Agricultural Innovation Centre
For official tests in The Netherlands
Evert Steenge Agrarisch Adviesbureau
Technical partner in development of product and market
LTO Glaskracht Noord
Organization of the Ministry of Agriculture for (glass)horticulture
Organization of the Ministry of Agriculture for agriculture
LIST OF REFERENCES
 W. Wirth, S. Storp, W. Jacobsen, “Mechanisms controlling leaf retention of agricultural spray solutions” Pesticide Science 33, 411 (1991); « Drift, drift reducing sprayers and sprayer testing » Ganzelmeier et Rautmann- Federal Biological Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry – Allemagne; J. Spillman “Spray Impaction, retention and adhesion: an introduction to basic characteristics” Pesticide science 15, 97 (1984)
 V. Bergeron, D. Bonn, J-Y Martin, L. Vovelle "Controlling droplet deposition with polymer additives” Nature 405, 772 (2000) (Publication by Prof. Bonn of Green); A. Lindner, J. Vermant, D. Bonn, “How to obtain the elongational viscosity of dilute polymer solutions?” Physica A 319, 125 (2003) (Publication by Prof. Bonn of Green)
 Journals and papers with information on the invention of Prof. D. Bonn :
- Comments in the News and Views section of Nature followed by articles in more than 18 popular journals and radio or TV-emissions following the paper of V. Bergeron, D. Bonn, J.-Y. Martin, L. Vovelle "Impact and retraction of viscoelastic drops " in Nature, 405, 772 (2000) :
- Smart Polymers, NATURE, News and Views, J. Klein, Nature, 405, 745, 15 June 2000.
- How not to make a splash, NATURE.COM, Science update, Technology: M. Haw, 15 June 2000.
- Un seul "pschh" suffit, INFO SCIENCE, actualités, F. Demarthon, 23 Juin 2000.
- How not to make a Splash, NEW SCIENTIST, In Brief, Pg. 23, 17 June 2000.
- Water that won't splash, SCIENCE NOW, M. Sincell, 14 June 2000.
- Bad news for Pets, THE NEW YORK TIMES, Science/Health, , June 20, 2000.
- Inside Track: Polymers assist weedkiller spray Technology Worth Watching, FINANCIAL TIMES & FT.COM, V. Houlder, 15 June 2000. . .
- Splosh but no Splash, BBC NEWS, Science /Technology, J. Amos, 15 June 2000.
- Physics, polymers and pesticides, PHYSICS WEB, News, June 2000.
- Stichwort: Polymer, SWR 2 FM Digital Radio, Broadcast on Saturday 17 June 2000
- Polymer additive inhibits splashing, CHEMICAL & ENG. NEWS, Science/technology concentrates, M. Freemantle, pg. 38, June 19, 2000. .
- Control Splashing by Exploiting Polymer's Preference, HIGH-TECH MATERIALS ALERT, H. Goldstein, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. ISSN 0741-0808, 22 June 2000
- Cientstas franceses desenvolvem 'gota esperta' que nao respinga, FOLHA CIENCIA, Quimica, I. Gerhardy, Sao Paulo, 15 de Junro de 2000.
- Druppels op de loop, NRC HANDELSBLAD (Pays-Bas), R. van den Berg, 01 July 2000.
- Des insecticides aux 'phyto pharmaceutiques', L'USINE NOUVELLE, Technologies, , V. Lepetit, pg. 64, 13 Juillet 2000.
- Goutte que goutte, SCIENCES et AVENIR, Actualités Physique, pg. 14, Aout 2000.
- Halte aux éclaboussures, La RECHERCHE, L'image du mois, pg. 11 Septembre 2000.
- Water droplets make an impact, Physics World May 2001, V.Bergeron, D.Quéré.
- Gouttes propres, LIBERATION, Sciences; Tetes chercheuses, Vendredi, 16 Juin 2000.
- Les Gouttes d'eau, Science & Vie, Mensuel n°1011, Decembre 2001. . .