Development of the Kathari ultrafiltration unit completes Van der Ende Groep’s water treatment range. The group can advise its customers on all facets of (irrigation) water quality and availability from today on.
The Kathari has its origins in the Poseidon sodium extractor, which was developed in response to the Water Framework Directive and its regulations on the discharge of drain water containing plant protection products. Before this, the build-up of sodium was a major reason for many growers to discharge the drain water. The Poseidon extracts the sodium from drain water, resulting in savings on nutrients and water. This system consists of multistage filtration, with ultrafiltration as an essential stage for removing viruses, bacteria, and fungi to prevent fouling in the other filtration stages. The water analyses performed to monitor the Poseidon revealed that ultrafiltration is extremely effective in removing viruses, bacteria, and fungi. As a result, the market started to ask whether ultrafiltration could be used to extract pathogens from drain water, partly because of the increasingly prevalent ToBRFV virus.
With this question in mind, Van der Ende Groep sat down at the development bench. The experience gained with the Poseidon sodium extractor (winner of the GreenTech Sustainability Award 2018) was applied to further develop some of that technology to create the present Kathari ultrafiltration unit. The Kathari achieves a Log 4 reduction of viruses and fungi and Log 6 reduction of bacteria by means of ultrafiltration using membrane technology. This physically separates the viruses, bacteria, and fungi from the drain water. And because ultrafiltration technology is low-energy, economically beneficial (favorable CapEx), and sustainable, it does this in a cost-effective way (low OpEx)
Re-using clean drain water in the right way allows growers to save on expensive nutrients, with the additional advantage of reducing the environmental burden. The ultrafiltration method has a great track record over many decades and is used in a wide range of water treatment situations worldwide. “We optimized this technology, after extensive experience with Poseidon and in consultation with a leading membrane manufacturer, to make it suitable for use in greenhouse horticulture,” says Micha van Nieuwkerk, CCO of Van der Ende Groep.