Pesticides play an integral role in various industries, especially the agricultural sector. These substances are responsible for killing pests by using either a biological or chemical agent. Through that, it is able to deter, incapacitate, and even kill many unwanted pets. 

These highly useful products would not be around if it weren’t for its manufacturers and chemists. But what is a pesticide chemist? 

In this article, we discuss what this important occupation is, including the various skills and college degrees needed to pursue this profession. Keep reading to learn more!

What is a Pesticide Chemist? 

What is a Pesticide Chemist? 

A pesticide chemist is a scientist who deals specifically with the manufacturing of pesticides for a company. In order to create these special substances, they must first study their atomic and molecular levels. This helps them analyze how ingredients work with each other. 

Students who choose to pursue a career as a pesticide chemist often graduate with a major in Chemistry. However, they must also possess knowledge of production, processing, and computers because these are often used in laboratories during experiments. 

These professionals experiment with various ingredients in order to see how they behave. This is crucial, especially in the creation of new products for the company. 

Pesticide chemists conduct experiments by measuring the proportions and different reaction rates of substances. For pesticides, they need to experiment with various active and inert ingredients to find the mixture that works best for them. 

Once they’ve prepared the right ingredients for the project, the chemist is ready to send it for manufacturing after a series of quality assessments. It is first manufactured on a small scale with a group of chemists before being brought to a factory for mass production. 

Chemical Manufacturing Process

Let’s take a closer look at the chemical manufacturing process:

The pesticides are synthesized

Pesticide chemists alter organic molecules in order to make pesticides. In the laboratory, they use reagents and catalysts in a controlled climate to synthesize the pesticide. This is done in order to create the pesticide’s active ingredient. Once finished, the ingredient is shipped to a formulator in large batches using tank trunks with the correct safety regulations. 

The pesticides are formulated

Afterward, the active ingredient is accepted by a formulator. In this part of the process, the ingredient is measured to the proper amount to be mixed with its corresponding ingredients. Liquid pesticides are mixed with carriers while dust pesticides are mixed with inert or dry fertilizers. The product of this step is an emulsified formulation wherein the active ingredient makes up 50% of its composition. 

The pesticides are diluted

Before shipping the pesticide off to its buyers, it should first rest for a short time in the factory. The emulsified formulation is sent to customers. They may be responsible for diluting the concentrate to make the pesticide required. Manufacturers can do this process as well. 

The pesticides are applied

Lastly, they are applied by either customers or pest control services. 

What are some tasks that pesticide chemists do? 

What are some tasks that pesticide chemists do? 

In laboratories, chemists aren’t always making new products. Rather, it’s a long complex research project that involves the development of a new product along with its testing methods. Afterward, the goal of this chemist is to instruct technicians on how to properly process the chemicals for mass production. 

Here are some daily tasks that they do in the laboratory: 

  • Prepare various solutions, compounds, and reagents for procedures
  • Analyze substances to write reports about their composition of the elements present. 
  • Conduct tests to check if substances pass safety and quality standards
  • Write technical reports on the experiments conducted 

When a research project is successful, pesticide chemists may also present these to their colleagues, especially if innovative ingredients were used. 

Key Takeaway

Now that you know what a pesticide chemist is, you can assess if this is the career you want for yourself. If you choose to pursue this, you can contribute your knowledge and skills to a team who shares the same passion as you in the field of chemistry. You hold the important role of developing innovative products used by agricultural sectors all around the world.

If you’re a chemist graduate looking for a job, join us here at Divine King — the leading chemical distributor in the Philippines

We are looking for the best pesticide chemists to help us choose the best pest control chemicals for our clients. Our goal is to look for organic pesticides that change the landscape of pest control services across the country.