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Technician working under hood.

Replacing a Co-Solvent with Water


An international herbicide company needed to replace an undesirable co-solvent in one of its major combination products. Unfortunately, without it, one of the active ingredients would lose solubility. Might there be an unexplored alternative to the lost ingredient? And if so, could the reformulation maintain chemical and physical stability?


When the agrochemical client approached Battelle with its reformulation challenge, the expected solution was replacement of the crucial co-solvent with another solvent in order to dissolve the second herbicide. That, however, would prove extremely difficult, as the product was not soluble in much at all.

The alternative? Make a water-soluble salt of the second herbicide and create a blend of aqueous and organic phases. Instead of creating the usual and customary opaque/two-phase water-in-oil emulsion, the Battelle team instead produced a clear, one-phase homogenous product with very good physical and chemical stability.


Our solution allowed our client to dispense with the undesirable co-solvent and reintroduce their product in a safer, more sustainable formulation. The client was able to quickly reintroduce the product without co-solvent to market, and they were able to file a new patent for the improved formulation.

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