Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

H2020

HPGen Report Summary

Project ID: 728526

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - HPGen (On-site, on-demand Hydrogen Peroxide Generation for a cost-effective, eco-friendly and safe biocide and oxygenator)

Reporting period: 2016-05-01 to 2016-08-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Biocides are substances extensively used across the agriculture and livestock sectors to prevent the proliferation of bacteria, algae, fungi and viruses. With sharpening regulations, environmental concerns, and the need for sustainable practices to ensure continued agriculture and food supply, the market is witnessing increased demand for safe and sustainable products, while maintaining demanding requirements in cost, scalability, and availability.
HPGen is a disruptive technology product, enabling for the first time on-demand, cost effective production of hydrogen peroxide - an eco friendly biocide and oxygenator, directly at the point of use, and requiring only water, electricity and air as feedstock ! With HPGen, HPNow is set to displace presently used, increasingly regulated toxic chemical products in agriculture and in turn the livestock sectors. By doing so, HPNow will:
- Save up to 50% in farmer costs vs. present day solutions.
- Increase crop yields through more homogenous irrigation and improved oxygenation.
-Enhance food and water safety.
-Reduce excessive antibiotics and drugs feeding to livestock
- Reduce the environmental impact, transport and handling of toxic agri-chemical agents.
- Create a > €2B multi-billion opportunity across its value chain.

HPGen is a first of its kind solution for the on-site, on-demand production of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Hydrogen peroxide is a well-known, highly effective oxidation agent, and also a well known oxygenator, proven to secure oxygen supply to oxygen-deprived plant roots. To date however, its impact in the agriculture and livestock sectors has been minimal. Hydrogen peroxide is produced today through the century-old Anthraquinone method, which can only be effectively implemented in large-scale chemical plants. The chemical is in turn packaged in high-concentrate (35% to 70%) drums, which are explosive and require special handling and storage. Its current use in agriculture and livestock requires the challenging and costly distribution of relatively small quantities of highly concentrated solutions to remote locations, and dilution to ppm-levels at the point of use. Accordingly, despite its attractive properties, use of hydrogen peroxide in agriculture and livestock farms has been very limited.
HPNow is addressing these pain points through its breakthrough technology enabling H2O2 generation on-site, on-demand, and requiring only water, air and electricity as feedstock. The HPGen solution directly yields the low concentrations required in an intrinsically safe process, altogether bypassing the storage and safety concerns associated with high concentration H2O2 solutions. Cost projections indicate a 50% cost reduction as compared to existing products and methods. The wide availability of an on-demand H2O2 generation solution will dramatically broaden its use as a safe and eco-friendly biocide, as well as a potent oxygenator, providing for more sustainable and safe practices, healthier plants and animals, and increased yields.

Our main conclusions from this feasibility study are as follows:
- There is strong market demand for the HPNow’s offering.
- The direct market potential is very substantial – EUR 1.5 billion and above.
- Industry trends, including regulatory environment, play in our favour.
- We have a strong first mover advantage which can be leveraged.
- We have successfully established the foundations of our go to market strategy, through partnerships with key stakeholders across the value chain.
- Our financial model provides for strong IRR.

Based on these conclusions we intend to pursue the HPNow business plan and we are accordingly preparing an application for SME phase 2 for the October 13th 2016 timeline.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

Our key objective throughout phase I of this innovation project has been to establish the feasibility of the HPGenTM solution, primarily from a business perspective. Our methodology in doing so has largely been based on working with our partners and target customers, in order to refine target specifications and achieve detailed market segmentation and market opportunity analysis. This analysis, together with BOM and production cost analysis, have resulted in the development of a go-to-market strategy and business plan. Additionally, strong advancement has been made on the technology and product development front, in the development of a robust working prototype which will serve as the basis for upcoming field trials. Our understanding of the IP landscape has been further refined through in-house as well as 3rd party analysis, potential regulatory hurdles have been identified and mitigation strategies devised.
Key Findings and Achievements:
- Strong interest and demand throughou the value chain, substantiated with LOI's with global market leading firms
- Designed and built a robust, highly-scalable HPGen prototype which will serve as a basis for entry into field trials in Phase 2.-
- Built detailed supply chain and BOM model.
- IP position substantially enhanced through new IP application enabling 4 patent families.
- Developed business model and plan yielding strong IRR

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

Beyond our primary market of agriculture, we have undertaken efforts throughout the feasibility study to identify and better understand next-stage markets, where on site generation of hydrogen peroxide can have a substantial impact. These include the following:

- Livestock farms. The treatment of water borne micro-organisms in poultry, piggeries and dairy is increasingly recognised as vitally important for the well-being of animals, increased production, lower disease and mortality. Most biocides used today are chlorine-based, which damage living organisms and the environment, and their use in farms is subject of strict regulations at ultra-low concentrations. HPGen can be used safely with higher concentrations of H2O2, reducing bacterial count and the need for antibiotics.

- Aquaculture. Aquaculture operations face growing challenges in keeping fish healthy and free of harmful parasites and infections. Today mostly formaldehyde is used as disinfectants, as well as biocides against fish pests, and the industry is looking to reduce its environmental footprint. Our devices can deliver hydrogen peroxide, a well-known disinfection agent, at controlled concentrations which eliminates parasites while keeping fish healthy.

- Health Care Decontamination. Governments and care centers are investing significant efforts into the elimination of Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAI). Annually, HAI have fatal consequences for 225,000 Europeans and North Americans – with numbers expected to be even more devastating in developing countries. HPNow’s solution in this industry will enable deliverible a powerful yet environmentally friendly disinfectant utilizing an automated and consumable-free operation.

- Municipal water treatment. Advanced Oxidation (AOP), which involves the combination of two oxidizing technologies to create a more powerful oxidant than either can create on its own, is gaining traction in the municipal and industrial water treatment. This is a result of growing awareness, and concern to trace amounts of medical, pesticides and other contaminants. By combining HPGen with UV, a highly powerful environmentally friendly disinfectant agent will be utilized, increasing water safety in a logistically and cost effective manner.

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