Nanotechnology developed in Brazil boosts plant growth


Think about a world where you can plant the same quantity using the same amount of time, and obtain more productivity and better nutritional quality. That’s what the Brazilian agtech (agribusiness startup) Krilltech promises to deliver with a type of nanotechnology called Arboline. The product boosts essential metabolic routes, making nutrient absorption much more efficient through the leaves. In addition, it does not harm the environment, the producer, or the consumer.

The nanoparticle will also be used to enhance forest reconstruction. In a partnership with the National Institute of Amazonian Research (INPA) and Shell, the startup will help in the recovery of degraded areas in nine states in the Amazon region. In the state of Pará alone, work will be carried out in 5 thousand hectares, focusing on accelerating the capture of carbon credits and promoting a positive social and economic impact for the local community.

“It’s a nice project: we’re going to use technology to grow native trees, but the idea is to link it to social, educational, and economic gains,” says Krilltech CEO, Diego Stone. “The focus is on trees that can bring a commercial return, native trees that allow development. The project also provides scientific initiation grants for high school students, to increase awareness on the importance of environmental education and on the model for generating sustainable wealth,” he adds.

The agtech won the KPMG Private Enterprise Global Tech Innovator 2021, a world-wide competition that seeks to meet main technological innovators from around the world. This year the competition had 700 applications from 17 countries. Krilltech was also invited to present its technology at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), next Tuesday, Nov 9th.

The technology was developed by researchers from the University of Brasília (UnB) and the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA). According to them, the particle is organic, initially extracted from a plant, and currently reproduced in the laboratory.

photo: krilltech

“It is a biodegradable product, it does not accumulate in the ecosystem and it is compatible with the environment,” explains Stone.

Invisible to the naked eye, Arboline quickly enters plant cells where it converts harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun into blue light, enhancing photosynthesis.

The particle also improves the use of nutrients and water consumption, reducing plant transpiration and, therefore, the irrigation volume necessary to maintain metabolic processes.

Arboline is the result of seven years of tests and analyses. So far, its efficiency has been tested and proved in 23 different species. The results show productivity improvement of up to 70%.

World’s attention
In March 2021, Krilltech was selected by the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Supply (MAPA) to participate in the II World Congress on the opportunities and challenges of the Crop-Livestock-Forest Integration (ILPF) production system.

Since then, the agtech has won various international prizes and participated in fairs and summits. The demand from foreign interested parties was so expressive that the company is considering opening an office in Dubai and more than doubling its number of employees.