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Hydroemission – Revisited

We like to keep an eye on the companies we feature in our Tech Spotlights, to see where their journey takes them……

Back in April 2021, we featured Hydroemission as a Tech Spotlight, a material science company that develops precision delivery platforms.  A versatile, cost-effective, technology with applications in a wide range of industry sectors.  Potential applications ranged from pesticides to sanitation and ambient scenting.

We’ve recently been in contact with Paolo Nalin & Grace Chew, co-founders of the company to find out what they’ve been up to.

In the last couple of years, Hydroemission have been focusing their efforts on applying their precision delivery technology platform, to provide solutions to particular challenges in agriculture.   The company has stabilised it’s footprint during this time, opening two fully owned factories in Malaysia next to the border with Singapore, one of which is fully allocated to R&D.

The Hydroemission technology can be used to encapsulate crop protection materials such as insecticides, fungicides and herbicides. These systems deliver the crop protection materials only to the specific parts of the plant where they are needed, and release them at precise dosages. That improves and multiplies treatment efficacy to reduce waste and expense, with no environmental damage or harm to non-targets.

Hydroemission have been working in partnership with Sime Darby Plantation to develop solutions to tackle the various pests and diseases affecting oil palms – the oil palm industry loses billions of dollars each year to pests and diseases, and the losses are worsening as escalating climate change increases the threat.  Among the most voracious pests affecting oil palms are bagworms, red palm weevils, and rhinoceros beetles. Basal Stem Rot, a soil-borne fungal disease, is also a devasting disease, infecting oil palms in the Equatorial regions, currently without solutions.

Hydroemission have developed effective treatments for both pests and fungal diseases for the oil palm:

Trunk Implant, when used with insecticides, is an effective treatment method for controlling leaf-eating pests such as bagworms, as well as stem-boring pests like red palm weevils and rhinoceros beetles – which attack oil palms, coconut trees, date trees, and other members of the monocot family of plants.  This method of application, can reduce insecticide usage and application frequencies by more than 300 percent.

Micro Micelle, a nano encapsulation technique, imparts phloem mobility to fungicides, allowing them to reach the roots to effect treatment. The method has demonstrated effectiveness in treating Basal Stem Rot disease. With treatment, the infected palm will recover and fresh fruit bunch yields will resume to that of healthy production levels. The technology is also effective at preventing healthy palms in high risk areas from infection, thus safeguarding their production yield.

The Hydroemission technologies have many benefits:

Effective – Treats diseases that are currently without cure;

Efficient – Treats pests and diseases with less inputs than with conventional approaches;

Cost effective – Reduces reapplication rates and usage volumes of crop protection materials;

Biodegradable – Encapsulation materials are naturally derived and biodegradable;

Sustainable – Enhances sustainability of crop protection practices.

Both the Trunk Implant and Micro Micelle have patents filed.  The Trunk Implant is currently undergoing pesticide registration in Malaysia, while the Micro Micelle is ready to market, as it is commercialised as an adjuvant to be used with commercialised fungicides.

Currently, there are no effective treatments for Basal Stem Rot, so Hydroemission is exploring ways to commercialise their technology as quickly as possible.  The company is actively looking for Strategic Investors that understand their proposition and are ideally part of the supply chain to help the company accelerate market penetration and adoption and scale the technology to problem statements in other crops.

If this is of interest or you’d like further information, please contact John Allies, john@strategicallies.co.uk.