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Another story about mosquitoes and tyres? Absolutely! Except that this time, the rubber granulate is used as a raw material in the manufacture of an original and innovative device: a gutter filter that allows water to flow normally, but prevents mosquitoes from reaching stagnant water and thus developing breeding areas. The device is called Aglostic and is made in New Caledonia, with Aliapur’s support.
Aedes System is based in New Caledonia and specialises in mosquito control devices. New Caledonia is a region where there are often epidemics of dengue fever and chikungunya, so any innovation in this field comes under the banner of public health. The mosquitoes that transmit these two viruses travel little: their field of action rarely goes beyond a radius of 25 metres around their original breeding area. A mosquito that bites you was thus often born near your home, in stagnant water.
Christophe Put and Thierry Suviri are the two directors of Aedes. Their idea was to prevent the installation of breeding areas, treating the problem at its roots. In 2012, they imagined a device that can be installed in gutters, half-way between a filter and a plug. The device is porous enough to let the rainwater through, but dense enough to prevent mosquitoes doing the same, and thus laying their eggs. To achieve this, it was of course necessary to use a material that is rot-proof, that is of no risk for either health or the environment, and that agglomerates easily. Instinctively, the two associates turned to rubber granulate, and manufactured a prototype, named “Aglostic”.
Aliapur’s expertise in R&D
Although this prototype was technically conclusive, there were still a number of questions regarding its efficacy. Would the porosity of the filter make it possible despite everything to retain all the mosquito larvae? Would the rain pass through fast enough to prevent the gutters from overflowing? Would the device remain intact, would it last over time? To answer these questions, Aedes sought out several experts so as to be able to move on to the next stage: transforming a promising prototype into a marketable end product. This is how Aliapur came to be asked to provide help in Research & Development.
Obviously, the quantities of granulate used to manufacture this device do not even come close to the volumes needed for classic recovery methods such as synthetic turf or sports surfaces. But Aliapur was nevertheless attracted by the originality of the approach, and the innovative nature of the application. “In 2014, we asked the Centre de Transfert Technologique in Le Mans (CTTM), with whom we work regularly, to carry out an in-depth study of the device,” explains Jean-Philippe Faure, Aliapur’s R&D Director. “This involved the size of the granulate to be used, the choice of binding agent, the mechanical resistance of the device, the infiltration and flow rates of the water, the draining quality, and the health and environmental safety of the water filtered through the device, for example.”
The study was financed by Aliapur and lasted for almost a year. It provided scientific validation for the technical choices made by Aedes with regard to the device. Since then, Aedes has won numerous awards and, with the support of the BPI France, is working actively to deploy Aglostic. Aliapur, for its part, has obtained exclusive rights to the patent’s operating licence for mainland France and the Caribbean, in exchange for financing one year of studies and tests. The sector is thus now looking for industrial partners ready to make use of this patent, particularly in the construction industry and the pest control sector.
See the Aglostic presentation video (in French)