Ionic liquid forms of the herbicide dicamba with increased efficacy and reduced volatility
Twenty eight new dicamba (3,6-dichloro-2-methoxybenzoic acid)-based herbicidal salts, have been synthesized and characterized in order to attempt to improve the efficacy of this widely known herbicide used to protect maize, grassland, and other cultures. The new compounds, most of which are ionic liquids by definition and three of which are solids melting above 100 °C, were prepared by pairing quaternary tetraalkyl- or alkoxyammonium, piperidinium, imidazolium, pyridinium, morpholinium, quinolinium, and phosphonium cations with the dicamba anion. Growth chamber and field test data suggested that ionic liquid forms of dicamba offer substantially increased efficacy which would allow less to be applied in the field. Compared to the commercial dicamba free acid product, improved physical properties were observed including higher decomposition temperatures and reduced volatilities, suggesting a potential reduction of overall environmental impact of this herbicide.