Evonik develops new biobased system for Gram-negative bacteria in agriculture

Evonik Industries AG has introduced a cutting-edge biobased system designed to incorporate Gram-negative bacteria into liquid formulations for agriculture. This novel approach aims to extend the shelf-life and enhance the field efficacy of these formulations, addressing the growing demands for food production and sustainable agricultural practices.

The challenge with Gram-negative bacteria in agricultural formulations is their inability to form persistence spores and their limited survival due to a thin protective envelope. Evonik’s new formulation process utilizes encapsulation technology to protect these bacteria from environmental stresses and ensure a controlled release of the active ingredients. This method not only improves the stability and effectiveness of the product but also reduces the dependency on additional carbon sources for bacterial growth.

The encapsulation is achieved using Evonik’s SIPERNAT 50, a microplastic-free and OMRI-certified precipitated silica that serves as a carrier for the bacteria. The process involves converting a liquid culture of Gram-negative bacteria into a biopowder which is then suspended in a biobased carrier fluid, BREAK-THRU SP 133. This carrier fluid plays a crucial role during storage by maintaining the bacteria in a dormant state and preventing microbial growth.

The use of SIPERNAT 50 and BREAK-THRU SP 133 not only ensures high storage stability but also enhances the application process. When mixed with water, the sugar coating dissolves, providing a nutrient source for the bacteria and enabling effective distribution over plant surfaces.

Moreover, the components of this innovative system are designed with sustainability in mind. Both SIPERNAT 50 and BREAK-THRU SP 133 are biodegradable and suitable for organic agriculture as certified by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI).

Evonik has tested this new liquid formulation with Rhizobium species, known for their nitrogen-fixing capabilities, showing promising results in terms of microbe viability and physical stability. This development marks a significant advancement in the use of biofertilizers and biopesticides, enhancing the productivity and sustainability of agricultural systems.

In conclusion, Evonik’s new biobased formulation system for Gram-negative bacteria offers an effective, sustainable, and easy-to-handle solution that could revolutionize the use of microbial formulations in agriculture, supporting the industry’s shift towards more environmentally friendly practices.

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