By means of the microencapsulation, gaseous, liquid, or solid agents can be embedded in a carrier matrix or in a shell material, by which new products with customized characteristics can be produced. The most important applications of the microencapsulation include:
• The adjustment of a controlled, often delayed release of the agents out of the capsules into the environment (Controlled Release, Slow Release)
• Protection of sensitive agents from dangerous environmental influences such as sun light, oxidation, acids and bases
• Development of new product characteristics, for example by transformation of gaseous and liquid agents into free-flowing powders
• Adsorption of slightly volatile chemicals (e.g. pheromones) to a solid carrier material
• Improvement of storage stability of sensitive agents
The microcapsules are produced by spray cooling (spray congealing), a very environmentally friendly and economical process that is also used on an industrial scale. Only renewable raw materials (e.g. various hydrogenated vegetable oils) are used as shell or matrix material.
The preferred application for our microcapsules is in the agricultural sector. Various research projects are ongoing, such as the microencapsulation of licorice extracts and copper salts to combat downy mildew in organic viticulture (www.vitifit.de). In addition to the production of microcapsules, their characterization also takes place in our working group. This includes the determination of particle morphology and particle size distribution, studies on the rheology of the capsule powders and their precursors, chemical analyses to determine the release kinetics of the active ingredients as well as the dispersion behavior of the microcapsules in water. Application trials in a test sprayer for crop protection products complete our portfolio.