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SBIR Phase II: Lignin-Based Formulations for Efficient and Sustainable Control of Plant Pathogens

Investigators
Veleva, Anka
Institutions
Benanova Inc
Start date
2020
End date
2022
Objective
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project focuses on addressing environmental challenges associated with extensive use of synthetic agrochemicals by developing novel sustainable nanoformulations for efficient management of bacterial and fungal pathogens. The broader impacts of this research and development effort are important on several levels; the sustainable agricultural treatments developed in this project could help protect natural resources, enhance security of the national food supply by reducing crop losses, and improve public health. While the initial focus is on efficient delivery of anti-microbial and anti-fungal crop protection chemicals, this platform can be applied for actives and biologicals with other functionalities. Thus, in addition to agricultural crop protection products, the environmentally benign nanoparticle delivery system developed in the project may find future applications in many products targeted to the consumer market, construction, personal care and healthcare.

This SBIR Phase II project will advance the development of a novel platform where engineered nanoparticles made from sustainable materials will replace harmful and persistent synthetic chemical agents used presently. The research objective is to utilize the widely available bio-renewable resource lignin as a natural non-persistent bio-degradable delivery system for agricultural actives. Colloidal particles made of technical lignin will be fabricated in large amounts by non-solvent precipitation in a continuous, green, low-cost method and then functionalized for stability and improved targeted attachment to the plant foliage. A multi-disciplinary approach is proposed to characterize thoroughly the new formulations and correlate their material characteristics and agronomic performance. This new knowledge will make possible to develop physico-chemical means of enhancing their field efficacy. In addition, research will focus on safety evaluation via human health risk assessment.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.
Funding Source
United States Nat'l. Science Fndn.
Project source
View this project
Project number
1950915
Categories
Chemical Contaminants
Food Defense and Integrity