Nara Bio CEO Kim Il-ho
Nara Bio started business with a slogan “a world safe from pesticides.” To act on its word, the company has developed the organic farming material “Modoossak” which can act as a pesticide but with much less toxicity.
Typical pesticides are toxic to humans because they contain sulfur, which is toxic in its nature. To manufacture Modoossak, Nara Bio uses mineral sulfur, a byproduct from petroleum refining. However, to reduce toxicity, the company ferments the mineral sulfur with microorganisms. Then, it grinds the fermented mineral sulfur into micro particles. As an industrial byproduct, mineral sulfur is cheaper than methylsulfonylmethane, a form of sulfur found in living things.
Another reason why pesticides are toxic is because they use extra chemicals such as potassium hydroxide to dissolve the sulfur, which doesn’t easily dissolve in water. However, Nara Bio’s sulfur inside Modoossak, which is already ground into in fine particles, can be mixed with water and be sprayed to products without the help of potentially harmful chemicals.
Nara Bio’s journey to green farming continues. Currently, research is underway at Nara Bio to help plants absorb micro sulfur particles, which can spur their growth. Though the micro particles are still too big to be absorbed by cells, Nara Bio has found a way after five years of research to dissolve them without using potassium hydroxide.