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Cryoprotective aqueous composition for removing frost from lawns

Country of Origin: Spain
Reference Number: TOES20170605002
Publication Date: 14 June 2017

Summary

A Spanish SME experienced in chemicals has developed and patented the present invention. It is a cryoprotective aqueous composition for removing frost from lawns (especially sport lawns) and for preventing the appearance thereof, consisting of applying the composition in diluted form, directly on the lawn surface by means of spraying. The company is interested in selling the patent through a license agreement or, preferably, in setting up a commercial agreement with technical assistance.

Description

The present invention from a small Spanish company relates to the field of cryoprotective treatments for removing ice on plant species. The company has a background on chemicals development and antifreeze for automobiles. Specifically, the invention relates to cryoprotective compositions useful for removing frost from lawns, especially sport lawns. The formation of frost associated to low temperatures can cause damages in certain plants. In lawn species, frost usually does not cause direct damages to the plants, although if it lasts a long time it is possible for the plant species to present a symptom or even die. However, it is true that while there is frost on the lawn surface it is not recommendable to walk over it, since treading can cause an irreversible damage on the plant due to the cuts and injuries caused by the friction of ice crystals in the plant tissue. Furthermore, independently from the previously described damage, a lawn which is under the frost makes it impossible to correctly perform the sport intended to be played thereon.
In some cases the lawn surface can be treated with a wetting agent i.e., a compound which reduces the surface tension of the water (surfactant), allowing its draining and evacuation in areas where water accumulates for the purpose of not accumulating water thereon and preventing the formation of part of the frost as much as possible. These treatments are usually not normal and are used indirectly since the application thereof is not aimed at preventing the appearance of frost. Furthermore, they do not provide homogeneous results in the lawn, which results in the co-existence of frozen and non-frozen areas. This does not solve the problem in golf courses. It is therefore necessary to develop cryoprotective compositions capable of quickly and homogeneously removing frost from lawns. Likewise, it is important for the composition not to be harmful or phytotoxic and not to affect the life cycle of the plant.

The present invention offers a cryoprotective alternative composition to those already mentioned having great advantages with respect to the previous compositions in terms of reducing frost in plants. The composition is easily ispersible by spraying, so that it can be used to treat large lawn surfaces. The composition of the invention is especially adapted for removing frost from sport lawns and serves both for removing frost and for preventing the appearance thereof.

The Spanish company is interested in selling the patent to a company which can exploit the solution, whose activity is related to products for lawn care and maintenance or, preferably, a company which can invest in R&D and improve the composition for other uses.

Advantages and Innovations

The cryoprotective composition of the invention has several advantages in terms of the application thereof to lawns since it has been demonstrated that it is effective in removing frost in a time which can fluctuate between 15 minutes and 1 hour from spraying, depending on the amount of frost, the intensity of the freezing conditions and the ambient temperature. Since short chain alcohols are preferably used, the latter do not accumulate in the soil since they are mostly volatilized after taking effect, which also makes them non-toxic for the plants at the recommended dose.

The cryoprotective solution of the invention assures that the results are homogeneous in the entire surface of the field, either in a shaded area or in a sunny area.
Another aspect of the invention relates to a method for removing frost from plants comprising dispersing the previously described cryoprotective composition in the form of a solution diluted with 70-90% of water, preferably 80%, on the plants with frost.

The composition of the invention can also be used in a method for preventing the appearance of frost in plants comprising spraying the cryoprotective composition of the invention in a form diluted with 70-90% of water, preferably 80%, on the plants before the appearance of frost.

Stage Of Development

Available for demonstration

Stage Of Development Comment

A series of tests were conducted with different active substances or combination of active substances for the purpose of determining which of them could be more suitable for removing frost from sport lawns. 
Trisiloxane polyether in a volume percentage that never exceeded 0.4% was tested as surfactant compound. This surfactant was tested both as sole active ingredient and in combination with other agents. Resins derived from the acrylic acid in a volume percentage never greater than 10% were tested both as sole active ingredient and in combination with trisiloxane polyether. The bacteria Pseudomonas fluorescens in a variable concentration of the culture broth diluted in water was also tested as cryoprotectant. The combination of vitamin E with trisiloxane polyether was also tested. Finally, a mixture of alcohols (glycerin and ethanol) in which the concentrations do no exceed 1% by volume in combination with trisiloxane polyether at different concentrations were tested. The best results were obtained from the combination of alcohols and surfactants, therefore successive tests were conducted with this combination.

The species on which the cryoprotectants were tested, was Agrostis stolonifera var. "A4", a species and variety used for golf course greens. It is characterized by being very thin and short, therefore it is very often used in golf courses.
The cryoprotectant used for the tests result from a mixture of glycerin and ethanol with a ratio by volume of 1 to 4 respectively. The purpose of the tests consisted of adjusting the doses and concentrations of the product to prevent these phytotoxicity problems, achieving at the same time the quick removal of the frost from the lawn surface.

The assessment of the effectiveness of the selected cryoprotectant was performed if upon applying the cryoprotectant on the frost, it is in turn is capable of removing such frost after a time of less than 30 minutes has elapsed, the treatment is considered as effective.

Requested partner

The Spanish company is interested in selling the patent, through a licence agreement, to a company provider of products for lawn care and maintenance, which can exploit the solution, The composition is especially interesting for the care and maintenance of sport fields, golf courses and parks.  The role of this partner is the production and commercialization of the composition. 

The Spanish SME is preferably interested in searching for a company which can invest in R&D to further develop and improve the composition for other uses. In this case the type of partnership considered is "Commercial agreement with technical assistance". The Spanish company offers the patent for acquisition, offering to support the transfer of the technology.

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