CSIRO helped Botanical Resources Australia expand into new products and markets for pyrethrum extracts, a natural insecticide.
Supplying the world with nature’s insecticide
Botanical Resources Australia (BRA) is a growing Tasmanian company which produces more than half of the world’s pyrethrum. Pyrethrum is nature’s insecticide and the key ingredient of household products such as fly spray. The company harvests the pyrethrum crop and then extracts the ingredient via two different processes to produce an oil, which they then drum and export.
BRA’s Product Development Manager, Brian Chung, said it has long been a challenge for the company to find the right people to help with their research and development and help to grow their business further. “We have a strong focus on research and development here at Botanical Resources Australia, but we don’t have the resources to undertake as much as we’d like,” said Mr Chung.
Accessing expertise in organic and medicinal chemistry
“We saw an opportunity to develop an entirely new range of products and we really felt that CSIRO was best equipped to suit our business needs and help to exploit new opportunity,” said BRA's Mr Chung.
The company engaged Dr Jack Ryan, a CSIRO chemist specialising in organic synthesis and medicinal chemistry and with expertise in the scale-up of processes to industrial production volumes.
“CSIRO chemists worked very well with ours, providing not only the expertise but the equipment that we would otherwise would have limited access to,” said Mr Chung.
Creating new and improved products from pyrethrum
- Dr Ryan worked with BRA to develop new techniques and improve the quality of the pyrethrum extract.
- BRA has achieved their goal to produce new products and improve the quality of their current material.
- BRA has a more sustainable business.
- BRA can now grow their sales to customers in different markets.
This project was supported by the Enterprise Connect Researchers in Business program, which was an Australian Government initiative which provided funding to support the placement of researchers directly into businesses to help them develop and implement new commercial ideas.
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