Ecotoxicologically sound removal of crop protection agents from water from the vegetable and potato processing industry




The increasing water stress, and associated rising water prices, emphasize the need for smarter water reuse in the vegetable- and potato industry. This is not completely without risk, because pesticides (crop protection agents), can accumulate through the process in the water and cause cross contaminations. The prior WaMIP project examined industrial wastewater from vegetable- and potato processing companies before, during, and after the conventional water treatment. The first results indicate that traces of pesticide residues sometimes can be found in samples of purificated industrial wastewater. The sector is proactively responding to this by looking at alternative/additional technologies to deal with this sustainably. Ozone, whether or not combined with activated carbon, may provide an answer.


The use of an ozone-based treatment, whether or not combined with active carbon, 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. After all, the target components (pesticides) are just a limited part of the entire water matrix. Ozone can potentially generate transformation products and by-products during the degradation of crop protection agents. Therefore, the monitoring of the ecotoxicity within the TETRA project is of utmost importance. As a result, the knowledge of the research groups ‘Crop protection Chemistry’ (led by professor Spanoghe) and GhEnToxLab (led by professor De Schamphelaere) is called upon to develop an ecotoxicologically sound project.

Also interesting is the WaMIP project.


  • VEG-i-TEC 
  • University of Ghent
  • GhEnToxLab 

  • Crop Protection Chemistry


October 2020 until September 2022