Argentine entrepreneurs develop machine to encapsulate agrochemicals in the field
Mar. 18, 2020
Matías Badano, Marketing Graduate, and Julio Laurenza, Biotechnology Graduate, Nanotechnology Specialist, are partners and co-founders of the Nanotica Agro venture. They developed a new nanoencapsulation technology to decrease the amount of agrochemicals and improve the chemical effectiveness of fertilizers and active ingredients for the management of phytosanitary adversities.
As part of this innovation, the entrepreneurs designed a machine, a nanotizer, and vehicles, the empty capsules, which allow the encapsulation of the agrochemical, which is then applied in the field.
“The nanotizer can be placed in the sprayer, in the pickup or in the shed. The provided empty nanocapsules form a gel with the product, which allows a quick fusion between the parts and a better penetration into the plant,” explained Badano, clarifying that the gel is formed only with a liquid product.
This gel resembles plant cells, allowing rapid absorption and minimizing waste.
According to the entrepreneur, the nanotizer has a cost that ranges, for now, between US$15,000 to 50,000, depending on the volume that the producer seeks to nanotize. He clarified that they are working to reduce the cost of the tool, although he acknowledged that based on the agrochemical savings achieved with the application, the nanotizer has a high repayment capacity.
“The nanotized product has the consistency of an adjuvant and its effectiveness offers savings in the dose between $3 to 20. This generates a rapid amortization of the machine," said Badano.
Entrepreneurs offer different types of capsules according to the matrix of each one: those of "quick release" applicable for herbicides, or those of a "slower release" intended for fungicides or insecticides.
"We are working with other, more specific capsules to decrease drift or leaching. With them, the product is much more attached to the soil matrix," he said.
The company began operating in January this year. In December 2018, they made a round of investments for $300,000. A year later, this month, they opened another round for $2,000,000.
"Our goal now is to continue expanding the product portfolio, regionalize ourselves, aim to put together strategies for the regulation, design and assembly of the nanotizing machine and greater coverage of producers," he said.
During the last campaign, the product was already tested on summer crops such as soybeans, peanuts or lemons and, during this cycle, in winter crops such as wheat and barley, with the last two cases seeing very good results in herbicides and fungicides.
Nanotica Agro was one of the entrepreneurial companies that, this year, won the contest organized by Samsung Innova. This duo was awarded the prize in the "Environment" category.
Bruno Drobeta, Senior Director of Mobile at Samsung Argentina and member of the Board of Samsung Innova, said, “Year after year, we continue to reaffirm that this is the path we want to travel on, helping and advising talented people who seek to challenge their limits and positively impact the society.”
Samsung Innova was started in 2017 with the intention of supporting, promoting and encouraging innovation, based on Samsung's commitment to entrepreneurship and the conception of technology as a fundamental tool to co-create the future.
The original Spanish version of this article is from infocampo.com.ar.
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