New nanotechnology developed in Brazil has reduced the amount of atrazine herbicide required to combat weeds by 80 times. The Environmental Nanotechnology Group of the Institute of Science and Technology of Sorocaba at the Universidade Estadual Paulista (Unesp) conducted the research, which was led by chemist Leonardo Fernandes Fraceto, Ph.D. in Functional and Molecular Biology from Unicamp and professor at the Department of Environmental Engineering at Unesp.
The new technology was patented in 2021 in collaboration with scientists from the State University of Londrina.
′′The average amount of atrazine recommended by manufacturers is 2 kilos per hectare of cultivated area. Thanks to the development of nanoparticles that encapsulate herbicide and make its use more efficient, we were able to reduce the use of atrazine tenfold, to 200 grammes per hectare, in 2019. Now, we've gone a step further, developing a new technology that has reduced usage by 80 times the recommended 2 kilos,′′ the group said.
To achieve the same results as the original formulation, Fraceto explained in a note that 25 grammes of the herbicide encapsulated in the molecule of this new technology must be diluted.
Nanotechnology is the manipulation of materials on the molecular and atomic scales, the operation of structures ranging in size from 1 to 100 nanometers, and the control of systems almost atom by atom.
Nanotechnology is a consolidated resource that allows you to improve the properties of existing materials or obtain completely new properties from them.
It has a wide range of applications, from information technology to medicine, agriculture to the pharmacy, energy generation to clothing manufacturing.
According to Elson Longo of the Federal University of So Carlos (UFSCar), ′′A herbicide encapsulated in nanoparticles that allows the concentration of the active ingredient to be reduced by 80 times′′ has been developed.