TECH OFFER

Water-Repellent Particles for Farming and Desalination System

KEY INFORMATION

TECHNOLOGY CATEGORY:
Materials - Nano Materials
Chemicals - Coatings & Paints
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TECHNOLOGY READINESS LEVEL (TRL):
LOCATION:
Singapore
ID NUMBER:
TO174429

TECHNOLOGY OVERVIEW

In arid environments, water-holding sheets are required to contain sufficient water for agricultural growth. However, one downside to the use of such sheets is the lack of gaseous permeability that could hamper the growth of plants. This technology can resolve such issues by means of coated sand particles that repels water.

Originally developed as a hydrophobic coating for silica-based materials in home appliances, this technology offer is a water-repellent material that has been adapted to thinly coat sand (i.e. silica) particles to address the problems for agricultural purposes in dry areas such as deserts. With this technology, water-repellent particles can be obtained and used to lay on the ground as a sand layer. Due to the difference in surface tension, water does not permeate through the sand layers and can accumulate above the sand layers, serving as an aquifer when used in arid conditions. This technology also allows air to permeate between the gaps of these water-repellent particles simultaneously, ensuring optimal conditions for plant growth.

The water-repellent material can also be extended for use in desalination systems as the desalting layer, allowing vapored water to be collected while separating saltwater. It may also be used as a foundation layer in road or pavement construction to mitigate urban heat-island effect by increasing water-holding capacity.

TECHNOLOGY FEATURES & SPECIFICATIONS

This technology exhibits the following characteristics:

  • Able to form thin layer (in nanometres) on sand (silica) with strong chemical bonds via adsorption
  • Able to impart water-repelling properties
  • Allows vapour to permeate through the gaps of the coated sand
  • Highly durable
  • Can be applied in agricultural systems to collect and reuse soil absorbed water. The reusability of the collected water is beneficial becaused the collected water contains fertilizer.

POTENTIAL APPLICATIONS

  • Agriculture
  • Water solutions (Desalination System)
  • Construction

Market Trends & Opportunities

Climate conditions affect agricultural growth. To safeguard food production, farmers need to utilize innovations to improve productivity and ensure a steady supply of nutrition. This technology can be used effectively for successful greening of water-scare areas. The versatility of the water-repellent material allows for its use in measures against salt damage and desalination.

Benefits

  • Imparts hydrophobic properties to silica-based materials
  • Effectively prevents salt damage, giving the user improved production of crops even in desert/coastal areas
  • Yields a circulatory system for vegetable farming when reusing water containing fertilizers

The technology owner is keen to out-license this patented technology to agrochemical manufacturers, desalination system providers as well construction materials manufacturers.

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