Bimosyn project progresses the development of environment-friendly and health-friendly pest control products

Rutland Biodynamics was chosen in 2008 to be one of six partners involved in a major EU study to reduce the use of pesticides in the environment. Research is showing that some herbal extracts are useful synergists that may help in the global preservation of wood.

The Spanish Institute, Tecnalia, through its Construction Unit, is participating in and coordinating a European FP7 research project for SMEs, called Bimosyn. The aim is to develop pest control products with lower concentrations of biocides and, thereby, be more environmentally friendly and less damaging for human health. The two year project is being carried out jointly by the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) and five SME companies: Berkem (France), Linotech (Sweden), Rutlandbio (the United Kingdom), Quadrifolio (Portugal) and Dts-Oabe (Spain).

The scientific development of the project involves research into the degree of synergy between bioactive antioxidant substances (natural phenolic compounds, such as anthocyanins) and conventional insecticides and fungicides. The aim is to use natural, vegetable-origin extracts with the potential for being employed as biocide adjuvants for the chemical sector. In this way, pest control products which will have the same efficacy as conventional ones can be obtained and, at the same time, will not be prejudicial for the environment or to human health. The new pesticides will act to combat plague of flies, cockroaches, termites and wood-rotting fungi.

The project involves the study of the synergy between bioactive antioxidant molecules and synthetic biocides within the new European Biocide Products Directive 98/8/CE (BPD). The idea of this is to develop new pesticide product formulations which can be clearly differentiated in the market with respect to conventional, more contaminant pesticides.

Future challenges

Notable amongst the tasks to be undertaken is that the researchers will gather all the basic antioxidant materials, extracts of medicinal plants and biocides necessary for drawing up the project, with the aim of studying the synergic effects amongst them. The next step is drawing up various formulae with antioxidant or medicinal plant extracts mixed with biocides selected in the previous stage.

Then the efficacy of the different formulae will be evaluated with trials based on a number of European and international norms in matters of pest control. Finally, data on cost analysis will be produced.

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