Seven years ago, the Dutch company Mienis Water began developing its Ultrafiltration system, which involved the necessary challenges, explains technical director Jochum Genuit. However, they now have a firm handle on the technology.
"We can now treat all types of water streams with the same system. We can also treat different drainage streams in quick succession. That makes it easy to help customers with all kinds of crops and crop combinations, and, therefore, with a whole assortment of drain streams," he says.
This ultrafiltration system uses membrane technology. "Everyone's familiar with osmosis membranes, which desalinates water. An Ultrafiltration membrane has larger pores, which allow salts/nutrients to pass through, but no or hardly any contaminants. Compare this with existing well-functioning methods. They kill 99.9%; we intercept 99.999% of viruses and 99.999999% of bacteria," Jochum continues.
"The water no longer contains any of these organic contaminants. That's a huge advantage. So, we can use small doses of peroxide to clean the water further, and, more importantly, keep it clean. Also, the energy consumption of approximately 0.2 kW/m3 is low. The system continually measures the water quality, and it maintains itself too."
“Among our customers are cutting companies, flower growers, but also fruit and vegetable growers such as strawberries, cucumbers, peppers, and tomatoes.” As an example, Jochum gives a customer who grows tomatoes and different types of lettuce and spinach. “To keep the different drain recipes apart, we treat 10 different types of water batch by batch. Especially for tomato growers, the risk of disease is high, so our technology has been beneficial for them.”
Jochum and Finch Genuit
Mienis Water has been specializing in membrane technology for more than 50 years. They monitor the systems at the clients' premises via an app that is available to the client too. "Our customers say the crops are less stressed. They also see measurable improvements in growth," Jochum concludes.