This is CelluDot’s first initiative to commercialization their IP.
Herbicide drift is a growing threat in the global agricultural industry, particularly in the U.S., where the adoption of herbicide tolerant genetically modified (GM) crops has grown significantly in the past few years. First and foremost, it damages sensitive (non-GM) crops and lowers productivity at about 25% per acre, resulting in financial losses to farmers already operating on slim margins. Additionally, government authorities and adjuvant manufacturers have been shifting their focus to renewable and sustainable products. This drives the demand for naturally derived adjuvants that reduce vapor drift while posing negligible threat to human health and the environment.
The global agricultural adjuvants market was $3.1B in 2020 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.1% through 2026. Our total addressable market of $1B consists of more than 200 million acres of row crops such as soybeans, corn, and cotton in the U.S. Most adjuvants available in the market today are petroleum-based chemicals that are toxic to the environment. The use of effective eco-friendly adjuvants, that make agricultural systems more efficient without posing a threat to the ecosystem, is of interest to agrochemical companies, making it an opportune time for the introduction of CelluDot’s product. CelluDot’s patent-pending solution is a nanocellulose-based adjuvant that reduces both particle and vapor drift potential and off-target movement of herbicides. Agricultural adjuvants are inert materials mixed with herbicides (active ingredients) in the spray tank to improve the biological performance of herbicides.
Turning current products into environmentally friendly products might, however, be a bit easier than simplifying them for better use or make them more functional. And this is where CelluDot comes in. In recent years, the demand for waterborne or biobased coatings raw materials has been driven by cost and performance of formulations. Coating, especially for seeds and paints, is under increasing pressure from consumers and regulatory agencies to reduce the environmental impact of its products and processes. There is recognition today, however, of the need to improve environmental performance across the industry value chain and over the life cycle of coating products.
The global bio-based coatings market size was valued at $53.32 B in 2017 and is anticipated to progress at a CAGR of 5.7% from 2017 to 2025. The U.S. market share is estimated to grow from $7B to $14.2B during the same forecast period. Among many renewable raw materials, nanocellulose derived from agriculture and forestry waste by products, is seen as one option for achieving this goal, if the cost/performance ratio is acceptable, the supply of bio-based raw materials is reliable and sufficient to meet growth expectations, with a measurable reduction on the environmental impact.
Low to zero volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions with optimal performance have stimulated the sales of bio-based coatings, increasing a demand that is not likely to decline anytime soon.
There is an increasing demand for cereals, grains, oilseeds, and pulses used mainly in the food and feed industries. However, there is a high demand for biodegradable seed coating products, due to the regulations laid down on petroleum-based or chemical-based seed coatings, which result in the accumulation of non-degradable waste in the soil.
At CelluDot, initial efforts will focus on using biopolymer-based solutions for seed coating and reducing VOCs from petroleum-based paints for their related uses. R&D initiatives at CelluDot aim to foster formulation development of bio-based versions of existing non-ecofriendly chemicals compounds in a seamless manner.