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


The broader impact/commercial potential of this Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) project encompasses the development of a continuous fabrication process to enable production of larger volumes of the next generation of agrochemical compounds. Although the first focus is on utilization for efficient delivery of antimicrobial and antifungal crop protection chemicals, this platform can be applied for actives and biologicals with other functionalities. The broader significance of this research and development effort entails the following aspects: First, in addition to agricultural crop protection products, the delivery system developed here is expected to find commercial applications in many products targeted to the consumer, construction markets, and healthcare. Second, the formulation of benign small structures that have the potential to replace a wide range of persistent and harmful nanoparticles in various industrial settings will enhance scientific and technological understanding of scalable processes on the nanoscale. Third, the sustainable solutions developed in this project could strengthen existing natural resources, enhance biosecurity of the U.S. food supply, and improve public health. <br/><br/>This SBIR Phase I project proposes to engineer an innovative system for efficient delivery of agricultural actives. To increase productivity, current agricultural practices utilize large amounts of crop protection chemicals. However, the intensive use of agrochemicals creates environmental threats damaging natural resources and potentially causing climate change. To address these challenges we are developing innovative, breakthrough platform technology with potential to increase efficiency of farming with the same or fewer inputs, while protecting the environment. The goal of this work is to create a new class of scalable, functionally active, sustainable and eco-friendly materials based on the widely available, biodegradable and bio-renewable resource lignin. The first objective of the project is to build a continuous flow process for preparation of lignin particles functionalized with small amounts of active biocides. This research will establish feasibility for continuous formulation of these preparations. The second objective of the study includes characterization of the new formulations using a series of antimicrobial and antifungal assays. As a result of the Phase 1 effort, technical risk will be reduced by identifying the most promising formulations for field studies to be conducted in Phase 2.

Veleva, Anka
Benanova Inc
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