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Ozone for Agriculture Water Treatment

Agriculture water requirement is specific for the well maintenance of the project.

In agriculture it is necessary to be careful with chemical contamination just as much as with a possible plague. Ozone is an excellent solution to agriculture water use, as it treats the water without chemicals.

How can ozone act in such an impactful way in agriculture? Scroll down and you’ll find your answer!

The agricultural industry demands large amounts of high-quality water. Ozone is an effective oxidizer used to disinfect drinking water supplies and treat industrial wastewater.

Rising global temperatures, increased drought periods, and a growing demand for water means that every drop of water gains a more significant value and every drop is valuable.

Because water is being recycled, concerns about disease, chemical contamination, water discharge, and leaching of nutrients to groundwater are growing, ozone relieves all of these concerns because it is a 100% natural agent, provides a barrier to prevent plant diseases, sanitizes recycled water and increases the productivity and crop yield.

How does it work?

The production of high quality vegetables requires high quality water in copious quantities. Increasing urbanization in many areas of horticultural production, increasing water demand and decreasing quality and quantity means that the agricultural industry preserves current and future water resources.

Contaminated water, when recycled, often ends up being applied to plants sensitive to plant growth regulators or otherwise applied where growth regulators are not intended to be used. In addition, contaminated water may be discharged off-site and have unintended downstream consequences.

Unlike chlorine, ozone is non-toxic and does not produce disinfection byproducts (DBP’s).

Once dissolved in water, ozone destroys the pathogens and then safely reverts back to oxygen. After being dissolved in water, it destroys the pathogens before returning to oxygen.

More plant pathogens are developing resistance to many traditional fungicides and growers are also seeing undesirable side effects on their plants from the application of chemicals.

Ozonization should be considered as part of an overall strategy to reduce plant pathogens in recirculated irrigation water with the concomitant risk of increased disease incidence.

In order to make the ozonization process more efficient and profitable, factors such as the quality of recirculated irrigation water (levels of turbidity, composition and the presence or not of organic or inorganic constituents), water volume to be treated (large volumes of water will considerably increase the ozone generation requirements), as well as the physical characteristics of the area (terrain, layout of the plantations, etc.) should be considered.

Applications

The agricultural industry is now realizing the benefits of ozone. Farmers are now beginning to use ozone treatment to disinfect water (recycled or fresh).

Increasingly, stringent water policies are being developed that have led farmers to seek modern treatment alternatives with less impact on the environment.

Plant growth regulators during agricultural production are used to control the growth of plants and also to increase their yield, which in turn lead to the possibility of contamination of irrigation water with these plant growth regulating chemicals.

Some applications of ozonated water in agriculture:

  • Irrigation to kill bacteria and micro-organisms which damage the plant since its germination stage and the removal of molds, root rot and fungi;

  • Pretreatment (sterilization) of soils before sowing;

  • Immersion of soil pots in ozonated water for disinfection of cuttings;

  • Treatment of water used for irrigation in order to eliminate algae, heavy metals (such as iron and manganese) and related bacteria (eg. iron bacteria, mangano-bacteria, etc.) present in artificial basins and maximum reuse of water;

  • Greenhouse spraying for the reduction and elimination of insects and pests;

  • Washing of fruits and vegetables, to ensure maximum hygiene and prolongation of its freshness and shelf life after harvest;

  • And much more.

So we can say that irrigation of crops with ozonated water is beneficial because:

  • Protection against diseases that occur due to infections, without leaving harmful residues for human consumption and the environment, which dissolve in oxygen;

  • Promoting better plant growth, since irrigation with ozonated water provides a greater amount of oxygen, free of viruses, bacteria, fungi, algae, spores and other microorganisms;

  • It offers other advantages, as it allows a more voluminous and productive crop, obtained in a very short time, which means a huge saving in the amount of water used for irrigation and in the cost of fertilizers and additives, which are later used to promote faster growth;

  • Improves the appearance and flavor of the plants;

  • Allows cost reduction because it is produced on site, does not require consumables and has low maintenance costs, in addition to a very significant reduction in fertilizers, pesticides and other agents.

Benefits

Ozone is a naturally produced gas that is commonly used as a sanitizing agent to help kill microorganisms in water.

Ozonated water has been used abroad in greenhouses, out-of-ground and in open field cultivations and, by now, it is increasingly used given the excellent results obtained without using chemical products.

Some tested and recognized ozone benefits on the horticulture are:

  • Ozone is easy to produce from air or oxygen;

  • Ozone dissolves 12 times more easily in water than oxygen;

  • Ozone is efficient in pathogens control (chlorination is an effective method of combating pathogens but its residual effects can harm plant life, ozone does not leave any residue);

  • Ozone does not produce more toxic compounds than removed ones, and neither introduces foreign matter to the medium, fact that chlorine does;

  • Ozone reacts readily with organic and inorganic compounds due to its high reduction potential and reactivity;

  • Along with disinfection, ozone also lowers the COD, color, odor and turbidity of the water treated;

  • Possible excesses of ozone in water decompose readily to oxygen, without leaving any residue;

  • The increase in oxygen means that many diseased plants are quick to recover and pathogens are also less likely to take hold of healthy plants;

  • Since ozone is a very powerful germicidal agent, it eliminates almost all infection-causing microorganisms and in return provides a better product in terms of volume, weight, size, strength, nutritional value and taste;

  • Ozone allows the destruction of soil contaminants such as:

    • VOCs (volatile organic compounds),

    • Pesticides,

    • Hydrocarbons,

    • Chlorinated solvents,

    • TCE (trichlorethylene),

    • BTEX (Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene and Xylene),

    • MTBE (tertiary-butyl methyl ether),

    • among others. others;

  • Ozone is safe for plant nutrients;

  • Ozone is 100% Natural, so it is environmentally friendly and does not change the biological properties of the products.

SCIENTIFIC ARTICLES

Published: 2017

AGNIESZKA JOANNA BRODOWSKA, AGNIESZKA NOWAK, KRYSZTOF SMIGIELSKI | July 6thOzone in the food industry: Principles of ozone treatment, mechanisms of action, and applications: An overview

Published: 2016

JOANNA PAWLAT, HNRYKA DANUTA STRYCZEWSKA, KENJI EBIHARA | November 30thSterilization Techniques for Soil Remediation and Agriculture Based on Ozone and AOP

Published: 2013

HARRIET JARLETT, from PlanetEarth Online | May 29thOzone can protect fruit from decay for weeks after exposure, study finds

JENNIFER B. LANDESMANN, PEDRO E. GUNDEL, M. ALEJANDRA MARTÍNEZ-GHERSA, CLAUDIO M. GHERSA | September 26thOzone Exposure of a Weed Community Produces Adaptive Changes in Seed Populations of Spergula arvensis

Published: 2012

PRABAKARAN M., TAMIL SELVI S., MERINAL S., PANNEERSELVAM A. | 2012 | Effect of ozonation on pathogenic bacteria

COLM O’DONNELL, B. K. TIWARI, P. J. CULLEN, RIP G. RICE | 2012 | Ozone in Food Processing

Published: 2009

JAVIER RIVAS, OLGA GIMENO, RUTH G. DE LA CALLE, FERNANDO J. BELTRÁN | September 30th | Ozone treatment of PAH contaminated soils: Operating variables effect

Published: 2008

A. RODRÍGUEZ, ROBERTO ROSAL, JOSE A. PERDÍGON-MELÓN, M. MEZCUA, ANA AGÜERA & ALL | July | Ozone-Based Technologies in Water and Wastewater Treatment

Published: 2007

MARCO DERUDI, GIANLUCA VENTURINI, GIORGIO LOMBARDI, GIUSEPPE NANO, RENATO ROTA | November-December | Biodegradation combined with ozone for the remediation of contaminated soils

Published: 2006

MARK M.O’MAHONY, ALAN D.W.DOBSON, JEREMY D.BARNES, IAN SINGLETON | April | The use of ozone in the remediation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon contaminated soil

Published: 1997

SUSAN J. MASTEN, SIMON H. R. DAVIES | November | Efficacy of in-situ for the remediation of PAH contaminated soils

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