Cork student creates spray-on biofilm that replaces plastic 

Pitseal is an eco-friendly solution to silage covering 
Cork student creates spray-on biofilm that replaces plastic 

Marion Cantillon, Founder of Pitseal. File Picture. 

A Cork student’s spray-on biofilm which can be used instead of plastic and tyres to seal silage pits has won one of the big prizes in the annual Student Entrepreneur Awards.

Pitseal, an eco-friendly solution to silage covering, was developed by Marion Cantillon, a graduate of BSc Food Marketing and Entrepreneurship, now studying for her Masters Degree in Nutrition, researching biofilm technologies at University College Cork.

Pitseal is a startup company founded on the UCC Ignite programme.

Marion said she started thinking about a better solution for covering silage pits after her uncle slipped on wet plastic, fell, and broke his leg.

Pitseal is a biofilm that includes unique strains of seaweed and nutrients that is sprayed on to form an airtight and waterproof film on top of the silage pit, completely replacing the plastic covering traditionally used, and the weights needed to keep the cover in place.

This film is consumed by the livestock as part of their winter fodder, and its ingredients play a role in reducing their methane emissions.


The product has won Marion the €5,000 CruickshankIP High Achieving Merit Award in the 2021 Student Entrepreneur Awards.

She was one of five award winners named, who will also share a €30,000 consultancy fund to help them to turn their ideas into commercial reality.

Advantages claimed for Pitseal include time saved and increased farm safety compared to traditional pit covering.

It was the only agriculture-related winner in the Student Entrepreneur Awards, which are open to full-time registered third-level students with innovative ideas that have commercial value A team from Trinity and Queen’s took the top prize for a handheld haptic device to help people with blindness or visual impairment to better experience sports games.

A socially responsible clothing brand, and a language learning book company were among the other winners in the 40th year of Enterprise Ireland’s Student Entrepreneur Awards.

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar, TD, congratulated the winners. 

“I’m really impressed by the calibre and ingenuity of the ideas put forward, especially given the significant challenges that came with this unprecedented year,” he said.

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