Can chlorinated products be applied for disinfection?

It is often unclear for growers how disinfection techniques or products can be applied in the most optimal way. Besides it is unknown if additional, potentially damaging, substances can be formed. In an emission free cultivation those substances may accumulate and damage growth. Another disturbing factor for growth and quality might be the combined use of various products.

Disinfection products may also react with fertilizers (for example iron chelate) resulting in a breakdown of the disinfection substance or non-availability of the iron. Amongst others these are reasons to discharge the nutrient solution.

Many uncertainties with the use of chlorinated products
The use of chlorinated products in various crops (gerbera, phalaenopsis, cymbidium) has great interest now, but knowledge is limited about effects on pathogens. Besides there are many questions about the use of the various products as ECA water (anodic oxidation), chlorine dioxide and sodium hypochlorite. Uncertainties have to be solved before cultivation with zero discharge is possible.

Inquiry started
Recently started research will have to answer these questions for gerbera cultivation. It started with a growers inquiry about the present use of disinfection methods and products. Based on the results laboratory experiments will be set-up with a number of products and those with best results will also be used in a greenhouse experiment.

Source: Wageningen University & Research

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