SAS-based Grain Protectants - a safe, effective, environmentally friendly alternative
- Investors for a Seed Round to support commercialisation
- Solution providers interested in the design and manufacture of specialty equipment to suit large-scale application of dust/powder-based insecticides onto grain
- Specialised producers and/or importers of synthetic amorphous silica (SAS)
- Organisations with an unmet need for which SAS may be a solution, willing to enter into a collaboration.
Industry challenge: Insect infestation of stored grains is a large economic problem however the traditional solutions rely on highly toxic chemicals. In addition, the chemicals that have controlled the insects which cause economic losses, are becoming less effective and more regulated. The use of conventional grain protectants and fumigants is under growing pressure as:
- concerns around the adverse environmental impact of agricultural chemical use grows
- markets demand that grain meets quality specifications and is free of live insects
- industry urgently needs alternative protectants that do not induce resistance in the insects being controlled
- grain traders and buyers are increasingly pursuing growers who can maintain quality through best practice grain storage management.
Synthetic amorphous silicas (SAS) are a class of industrially prepared materials, that are produced around the world and have been incorporated in a wide range of products for decades. Food- and pharma-grade SAS are commonly incorporated in to foodstuffs, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals. SAS is very different to natural amorphous silica such as diatomaceous earth, and is in a completely different chemical structural class from crystalline silica.
Current opportunity: Davren Global has developed a product based on synthetic amorphous silica (SAS) as a food-grade, inert, safe, environmentally friendly grain protectant that addresses both consumers’ and industry’s needs. This product controls insect infestation in stored grain for extended periods of time and offers a valuable complement to existing grain protectants and fumigation strategies that are struggling to manage insect resistance.
Davren Global has lodged one patent (in multiple jurisdictions) on the use of food-grade SAS as an insecticide. New IP positions are being developed regarding the scalable application of SAS to a range of grains and for use in controlling other targets.
Extensive laboratory testing has demonstrated full control of five insects on wheat, barley sorghum and rice namely, rust red flour beetle, rusty grain beetle, rice weevil, saw-toothed grain beetle and the lesser grain borer. With few exceptions control has been achieved while the commodities remain within industry’s expectation for bulk density attributes.
Davren Global has developed a prototype applicator to demonstrate the proof of concept that an aerosolised stream of synthetic amorphous silica (SAS) can be produced and delivered at controlled levels of application to commercially relevant grain flows rates of circa. 50 tonnes /hr.
Potential other applications: Davren Global would be pleased to hear from:
- Researchers interested in working on other applications and markets of the technology beyond grain protection, such as control of introduced ants (eg fire ants, termites and bed bugs) and crops other than grain, such as nuts (almonds).
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