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Bio-Friendly Plant Nutrient Delivery Patent Awarded

Seedlings in soil

(JamePC, Pixabay.

10 July 2023. A process for delivering nutrients for crop growth that its developers say is more sustainable than most fertilizer methods today received a U.S. patent. On 4 July, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office awarded patent no. 11,691,928 to three inventors at Lucent Biosciences Inc. in Vancouver, British Columbia, and assigned the patent to that company.

Lucent Biosciences creates non-water soluble seed coatings it says are more environmentally friendly than conventional fertilizers. The nine year-old enterprise develops its coatings with the bio-based polymer cellulose delivering plant nutrients and trace minerals such as zinc needed for healthy plant growth. Lucent Bio says it designs the coatings to interact with microbes in the soil, to release plant nutrients over time rather than all at once. The interactions of its coatings with microbes, says the company, helps sequester carbon, which enriches the soil and improves yields. Lucent Bio says its process also helps preserve zinc that promotes germination and chlorophyl production in plants, as well as affecting DNA replication and gene expression.

The patent covers processes and systems for delivering nutrient elements, such as those in seed coatings with a carrier made of water-insoluble polymers, such as cellulose. In addition, the patent specifies methods for releasing nutrient elements from the carrier in response to demand by soil microbes and plants, more than the presence of water, which helps prevent nutrients from washing away. And the patent covers extending carriers of nutrients to plant residues and by-products including rice husks, wheat straw, wood pulp, and barley straw.

Part of the circular economy

Lucent Biosciences’ key product is Soileos, that combines plant nutrients and cellulose polymers with crop residues normally of little value to growers and often disposed. As a result, says the company, its process is part of the circular economy for recycling agricultural waste. Plus, says Lucent Bio, Soileos is free of microplastics used in some conventional seed coatings to increase yields.

“This patented technology redefines the concept of sustainable farming,” says Lucent Bio’s chief technology officer Peter Gross in a company statement released through Cision, “by providing a fertilizer solution that is more efficient, environmentally responsible, and providing a better ROI for the farmer.” Gross is one of the inventors of the technology listed on the patent.

Lucent Bio collaborates with AGT Foods in Regina, Saskatchewan in AGT Soileos, a joint venture to produce and distribute Soileos to growers. “The continued collaboration between AGT and Lucent is flourishing, notes Murad Al-Katib, AGT Foods president and CEO. ” We are nearing completion of the manufacturing facility in Saskatchewan, which will be the first of several global facilities bringing these smart fertilization solutions to local farmers.”

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