Ultrafiltration is a membrane technique for removing organic pollution from water. For years, it has been a widely used technique worldwide for the production of drinking water and as a pre-purification for reverse osmosis. The technique filters out all particles larger than 0.02 microns and has been shown to remove 100% of nematodes and fungi, 99.999999% of bacteria, and 99.999% of all viruses. This means that the 'NTU', the turbidity of the water, is often lower than 0.03: ideal for keeping all the (drip) pipework behind the system clean, says Jochum Genuit, commercial director at Mienis Waterzuivering.
Ultrafiltration can be used in various ways. Sometimes as pre-purification for reverse osmosis, usually for the disinfection of drain water, but also rainwater or surface water. Jochum: "There are even situations where one ultrafiltration unit is used to treat ten different types of drain water. By treating not only the drain water but all the incoming water, the disease pressure in the greenhouse remains low. For example, after the deployment of ultrafiltration, there is no presence of Agrobacterium rhizogenes or the ToBRF virus, among others."
Jochem: "Globally, Mienis was the first company to successfully introduce ultrafiltration in horticulture. Since then, we have gained a lot of experience and developed our system into a product with a high customer satisfaction. It is our vision that only an installation that functions fully automatically will take the horticulturalist's mind off the problem.
The challenge is dealing with different types of contamination. Jochem: "You know, I'm quite proud of the fact that our systems work without any problems worldwide and on every type of water. It is not only the result of years of experience but also of developing our own software program. This allows the process to be tuned perfectly to each specific situation." Mienis uses frequency-controlled pumps, sensors, and valves. The installation can be adjusted remotely without any costs.
Jochem: "The installations are used for the following crops and growers as a solution for 100% closed cultivation:
- Vegetables and small fruits such as: tomatoes, sweet pepper, cucumber, strawberries, and blueberries
- In ornamental plant cultivation, at cuttings companies, breeders and growers.
During the HortiContact, Mienis will show its complete ultrafiltration system in stand G121.