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Business and Innovation News

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

A new product to help combat mouldy walls thanks to nanoencapsultation

by Àlex Argemí

In 2012 the ICN2, ICREA and Chemipol signed a licence agreement for the joint development of innovative antifungal paint based on micro- and nanoencapsulation technologies. This technology has been on the market since 2015, and is the third commercial product to emerge from the ICN2.

The Terrassa-based chemical solutions company, Chemipol, and the ICN2 have been working together since 2009 to develop new products for the paints and coatings sector. The idea was to create a range of low-toxicity fungicides for use in paints to prevent the growth of mould and algae on treated surfaces. But how to achieve this?

The Encapsulation Division of the Supramolecular Nanochemistry and Materials Group, led by ICREA Prof. Daniel Maspoch and Dr. Mary Cano, stepped in with its micro- and nanoencapsulation technologies and the idea that by containing fungicide molecules within nanocapsules, the active ingredient would remain intact and ‘unused’ until such a time as environmental conditions triggered its release. A series of preliminary joint R&D projects with Chemipol proved that not only was this possible, but that the process could also be scaled up to the levels required for commercialisation.

At this point, in 2012, a licence was granted to Chemipol for the further development and commercialisation of this product. Put on the market in 2015, it is an example of a long-term collaboration between the ICN2 and industry to bring advanced research in nanotechnology to the service of real consumer needs.