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Developing an Oil Free Polypropyelene Diaphragm Pump for Agricultural Application

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - B90 (Developing an Oil Free Polypropyelene Diaphragm Pump for Agricultural Application)

Reporting period: 2018-11-01 to 2019-02-28

Diaphragm pumps are used in the agricultural industry to drive sprayers used to disseminate agrochemicals. These pumps, that use oil for lubrication, have a short life span (≤1,000 hours) that makes them unreliable. Furthermore, because of the oil, when the diaphragm ruptures, 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, therefore, a need for reliable pumping solutions that eliminate this environmental hazard. Idromeccanica Bertolini Spa has been working on an innovative oil-free polypropylene diaphragm pump named B90 that eliminates the environmental hazard of oil contamination as it only use grease. Furthermore, the pump is the first of its kind made of highly resilient polypropylene, which makes it 100% compatible with over 3,000 agrochemicals. In addition, the design of the diaphragm unit incorporates a membrane support system which extends the life of the diaphragm up to 3,000 hours, making it more durable than traditional pumps. The project will be oriented towards obtaining the following main objectives:
• Technology optimisation
• Pumps industrialization
The FS confirms the novelty of our proposal, its technical viability and economic profitability in any of the scenarios proposed.
Technical feasibility: Technology development mapping, Scale up procedure planning, Industrialization plan creation, Testing protocol finalization, Detailed technical plan to increase TRL to 9, Analysis of risks and design of a mitigation and contingency plan
Commercial feasibility: Market analysis and pricing finalization (including analysis of end-users and needs and market segmentation by regions), Dissemination plan finalization
Technology Watch and IP strategy: FTO analysis
Financial feasibility: Project budget finalization, Business plan updating, Five-year projections finalization
As there is no other solution from competitors that offer the same innovation (oil-free, made of highly resistant polypropylene), we believe B90 will be a successful pump. Also, B90 will have a great impact on farmers’ economy as it can least more than 3,000 hours, it requires 75% less lubricant (grease) than traditional pumps and, in case it is damaged, only the damaged diaphragm can be replaced, without disassembling the whole pump. We believe B90 will have an important economic impact on our company as we expect to reach € 9.2M revenue in 5 years after the end of the project.