Recently the plant conservancy institute of the Agricultural Research Centre has succeeded in domestic production of vegetable agrochemicals with nicotine as its main component. Researchers at the institute say that domestic production would hardly be impossible when they put efforts into solving problems in their own way in keeping with specific conditions.
Creation Instead of Imitation
The institute has vigorously carried on researches on vegetable agrochemicals. The project to develop a nicotine-based chemical is one of them, which began years ago. They knew tobacco leaves, an abundant supply in Korea, could be used raw as a kind of natural insecticide. Nicotine is defined as poisonous substance, but as it is fast in analysis there is no worry about its harm to environmental protection. From long ago nicotine was extracted in various ways worldwide, but it was not widely produced as it has a high rate of heat-energy consumption together with a complicated production process. In Korea they produced insecticides by themselves using tobacco stalks and tobacco powder, waste material from tobacco factories. However, there were not industrial products yet. It is important in production of nicotine-based insecticide to extract and separate nicotine with much less consumption of heat energy and reagent so as to cut the production cost and ensure the maximum efficiency. Thus, it was urgent to find out a method of producing the chemical with a smaller sum of investment.
The institute intensified the research to reduce production processes which were already in use while studying foreign experiences, but found no solutions. Thus, the development of nicotine chemical came to a stop.
Recently the problem of nicotine-used insecticide became outstanding again, as the country has been pushing domestic production forcefully. The researchers made strenuous efforts to find out a new way to extract nicotine easily. They made the first step all over again from designing escaping from the existing method. Presently they hit upon an excellent idea. It was a nicotine extraction technology based on vacuum combustion. The production process was simple while making no use of heat energy and reagent, and the extraction rate was higher than the past. The extracted nicotine was mixed with a dampening material, which had already been developed by the institute and turned out superior in practice. This led to industrial production. The dampening material is an emulsion type of additional material which is prepared to play a secondary role and make the most of the efficiency by way of spraying. Now the production cost of the nicotine insecticide was reduced to one twentieth of the earlier one while the output increased six times with the same amount of raw material. When 11.5 kg of the chemical was applied per hectare the rate of extermination of noxious insects increased up to 90-95 percent, which meant two times greater extermination efficiency than the past.
Kim Jae Yun, the senior researcher, says, “We have developed our own new technology. It can increase the output with a much smaller investment than varieties of foreign technologies of nicotine production. Ours is based on a very simple principle, but it took us a lot of time of speculation.”
Article: Rim Ok