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Production process of short nanofibers, applications and uses

Grant number: 23/05407-3
Support Opportunities:Research Grants - Innovative Research in Small Business - PIPE
Duration: February 01, 2024 - October 31, 2024
Field of knowledge:Interdisciplinary Subjects
Principal Investigator:Paulo Augusto Marques Chagas
Grantee:Paulo Augusto Marques Chagas
Host Company:Innano Tecnologia Ltda
CNAE: Atividades de apoio à agricultura
Fabricação de defensivos agrícolas
Fabricação de produtos farmoquímicos
City: São Carlos
Associated researchers:Mônica Lopes Aguiar ; Wanderley Pereira Oliveira
Associated scholarship(s):24/01656-1 - Production process of short nanofibers, applications and uses, BP.TT
23/18068-2 - Production process of short nanofibers, applications and uses, BP.PIPE

Abstract

This project refers to the implementation of a production process of short nanofibers containing compounds of agricultural interest such as micronutrients, nanoparticles and plant growth regulators from cellulose acetate nanofibers intended for the coating of seeds and leaves of plants of interest of agribusiness. The short nanofibers are formed after a mechanical cutting process of the previously produced electrospun nanofibers. With this process, it is possible to obtain short nanofibers dispersed in water and whose dimensions (length and diameter) are favorable for spraying. The project aims to evaluate the productivity and viability of the electrospinning technique for the production of short nanofibers containing compounds of interest aimed at applications in the agribusiness sector. This project will deal with questions related to the yield of nanofibers, production costs and the morphologies of the nanofibers obtained by this technique. In addition, continuing the production process of short nanofibers, the parameters of the mechanical cutting process of the nanofibers will be evaluated, which includes the choice of suitable dispersants, time and speeds of mechanical agitation and an evaluation of the technical feasibility and scale-up of the production process. In a next step, aiming to obtain dry short nanofibers, drying will be performed to obtain a powder of short nanofibers, using the Spray Dryer technique and/or drying in a forced convection oven.The drying process will be useful for providing a dry material, facilitating its storage and transport, allowing its dispersion again in the place where the short nanofibers will be used, for example, in plantations. The polymeric material chosen for the production of short nanofibers is cellulose acetate, a cellulose derivative with biodegradable properties, offering no toxicity and easily processed into nanofibers. It is understood that the possibility of applying short nanofibers by spraying systems, expands the use of products that employ nanotechnology, thus allowing, for example, the encapsulation of different compounds with properties of agricultural interest such as natural bioactive compounds, phytohormones, fertilizers, micronutrients, making it possible to apply the short nanofibers for controlled delivery of such compounds acting as seed coatings and foliar applications. This versatility of compounds that can be encapsulated will allow the creation of customized and specific seed and foliar treatments, according to the needs of each type of seed, crop and soil. In order to verify its potential for applications in the agricultural sector, the compound encapsulated by the nanofibers will be zinc oxide nanoparticles, phytates and plant growth regulators such as salicylic acid, citric acid and gibberellins. Zinc is considered an essential micronutrient for the development of seeds and plants, in addition to having antibacterial and antifungal properties, seeds use phytates as a source of inorganic phosphate during germination and gibberellin is linked to breaking dormancy in seeds. In summary, this project aims to develop a product, using nanotechnology associated with drying processes, with easy application and potential use in several sectors, such as agriculture. (AU)

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