Researcher Jacob Willems is actively working on the completion of the ECO3 project at VEG-i-TEC


Jacob ECO3 projectThe ECO3 project aims to remove crop protection agents from the effluent from the vegetable- and potato processing industry.

The increasing water stress emphasizes the need for a safe discharge of the current wastewater effluent towards the ecological environment but also for more innovative water reuse in the vegetable- and potato processing industry.

This is not completely without risk, because crop protection agents can accumulate through the process in the water and cause cross contaminations.

Whether or not combined with active carbon, the use of an ozone-based treatment has already proven its worth by removing similar components (e.g. pharmaceutical residues and/or pesticides) in municipal water. However, in the field of industrial ozone treatment, there are still a lot of unknowns before a successful application can be guaranteed.

For this, Jacob applies the following step-wise approach in close collaboration with vegetable- and potato processing companies but also with water technology supplies and sector federations:
🤜What is the optimal ozone and/or active carbon dosage in line with seasonal and company-specific variations?
🤜How does the treatment affect the presence of pesticides and their degradation products?
🤜Is the treated wastewater effluent suitable for discharge and/or reuse? How does the treatment affect ecotoxicity? How does the remaining pesticide concentration relate to the European drinking water standard?
🤜Can we implement a method to monitor and control the treatment, preferably online?
All this is done based on continuous cost calculations to obtain a sustainable end result for involved companies.

The ECO3 project is funded by Agentschap Innoveren & Ondernemen - VLAIO and cooperates with local vegetable- and potato processing companies, and water treatment suppliers.

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