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Developing an Oil Free Polypropyelene Diaphragm Pump for Agricultural Application

Project description

Oil-free diaphragm pumps for sustainable agriculture

For the uniform application of agrochemicals, farmers use boom sprayers that are driven by diaphragm pumps. But these pumps have a short lifespan (up to 1 000 hours). Since the pumps use oil for lubrication, this could cause an environmental hazard if the diaphragm ruptures. There is a need for a reliable pumping solution. Idromeccanica Bertolini Spa has created the B90 oil-free polypropylene diaphragm pump that eliminates the environmental impact of oil contamination, is compatible with the host of over 3 000 agrochemicals currently on the market and has a longer lifespan than the current pumps (3 000 hours). The EU-funded B90 project will replace current oil-using pumps with the B90 series, allowing farmers to complete the use of agrochemicals in line with sustainable agriculture legislation.


Diaphragm pumps are used in the agricultural industry to drive boom sprayers used to disseminate agrochemicals. Diaphragm pumps use oil for lubrication and hydraulic moment. These pumps however have a short life span (≤1000 hours) making them unreliable. Furthermore, because the pumps use oil, once the diaphragm has ruptured the oil contaminates the boom sprayer causing an environmental hazard as oil is sprayed onto the soil, affecting moisture absorption and soil fertility. There is a need for a reliable pumping solution which eliminates this environmental hazard, allowing farmers to conform with sustainable agriculture legislation. Idromeccanica Bertolini Spa is a company founded in 1918 which delivers pump solutions. With over 100 years of experience the company is well poised to deliver the next stage in agricultural innovation. Bertolini has created the B90 oil free polypropylene diaphragm pump to address the challenges faced in the industry. The pump eliminates the environmental hazard of oil contamination as it doesn’t use oil. Furthermore, the pump is the first of its kind made of the highly resilient polypropylene, which makes it 100% compatible with the host of over 3000 agrochemicals currently on the market. In addition, the design of the diaphragm unit incorporates a membrane support system which extends the life of the diaphragm to 3000 hours making it more durable than the current pumps while employing additional anti-leakage double manifold system. The target users of the pump are commercial farmers and our product will be sold directly to spray manufacturers. Through the completion of the project we aim to replace our current oil using pumps with the B90 series providing farmers with a 300% increase in life span and 0% chance of contamination. This allows them to complete the application of agrochemicals in the narrow window of opportunity that they have to apply chemicals. As a company this innovation will allow us to reach a €4.5 million profit.

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Net EU contribution
€ 50 000,00

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The organization defined itself as SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) at the time the Grant Agreement was signed.

Nord-Est Emilia-Romagna Reggio nell’Emilia
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Total cost
€ 71 429,00