Modelling the effects of alcohol ethoxylates on diffusion of pesticides in the cuticular wax of Chenopodium album leaves.Pest Manag Sci 2006; 62(2):137-47PM
Cuticular waxes represent the first and, in most cases, the limiting barrier for foliar uptake of pesticides from solution. Sorption of pesticides in reconstituted cuticular wax (wax/water partition coefficients) of Chenopodium album L. and in isolated cuticular membranes (cuticle/water partition coefficients) of Prunus laurocerasus L. was determined. Diffusion coefficients of pesticides in reconstituted cuticular wax of C. album leaves were size-dependent, increasing with increasing molar volume. In the presence of alcohol ethoxylates, diffusion coefficients were enhanced by up to two orders of magnitude, and size selectivity was significantly decreased. The accelerating effect and the decrease in size selectivity were attributed to plasticisation of the cuticular wax by the alcohol ethoxylates increasing the fluidity in the wax. A free volume model adopted from polymer science was successfully applied to predict diffusion coefficients of pesticides on the basis of the transport properties of the wax (size selectivity and crystallinity), the molar volume of the diffusing compound and the accelerator concentration in the wax.