The new application technique uses two different polymer additives that are introduced as the pesticide is being sprayed, but the real trick is that one of the additives is first given a positive charge, while the other is given a negative. When the oppositely-charged drops meet on the surface of a plant they end up creating a hydrophilic water-attracting film that sticks to the leafs, trapping other droplets as well.


Not only is it a clever solution to a problem that affects crops around the world, the biodegradable additives required are cheap to produce, and only minor upgrades are needed to make pesticide equipment work with the new application technique. It also means farmers can use far less chemicals to treat their crops, increasing profits, and reducing the harmful affects on the environment.

[MIT News]