Project “Better UV-C lamps for water treatment and disinfection”

In this project, we aim to develop better low-pressure UV-C lamps than the current “fluorescent lamps” with annealing coils on either side. We want to achieve this by developing UV-C lamps that we provide with electrical energy via induction so that they do not need an incandescent coil at all. It is expected that these lamps will not only have a longer life but will also be more energy efficient and easier to produce.

The social importance of this development is great because UV-C lamps are increasingly used for the purification and disinfection of water and air. The reasons for this are that the technology is environmentally friendly and very reliable and that water purification with UV radiation can be achieved more quickly than, for example, with chlorine, without the need for cumbersome storage vessels and harmful chemicals. In addition, purifying drinking water with UV-C radiation is also cost-effective compared to other techniques.

Water Waves and Lamp-Ion have built up expertise in the past in the field of switching power supplies and gas discharge lamps. Last year they also introduced a water purification product to the market, the Hortibatch, which can be made even more energy efficient if better UV-C lamps can be used in it.

In this project, Water Waves and Lamp-Ion are realizing two prototypes:

  • a prototype of an electrical control whereby by means of induction existing UV-C lamps are applied without using the filament in these lamps.
  • a prototype of a new UV-C lamp that contains no electrodes and is therefore considerably simpler to produce.

Both prototypes will be built into a Hortibatch reactor by Water Waves and Lamp-Ion and extensively tested. The project offers prospects not only for Water Waves and Lamp-Ion to improve their water purification product but also to bring a better UV-C lamp to the market.

Project “Innovative water treatment with ozone and ultrasonic vibrations”

Much wastewater is contaminated with micropollutants such as drug residues and pesticides. These substances eventually end up in sewage treatment plants (WWTPs), where they are only partially removed during the treatment process. The result is that these micropollutants increasingly end up in our environment and drinking water via the surface water, which is ecologically undesirable.

For this reason there is a need and market for sustainable innovative technology that can selectively remove micropollutants from wastewater at limited investment costs and energy consumption. Preferably, this technology can be used both for the purification and disinfection of drinking water and for the purification and disinfection of WWTP effluent. Due to the global need for centralized and decentralized water treatment and the large scale of drinking water treatment plants and WWTPs, the envisioned technology contributes to significant energy and chemical savings and thus to a low-carbon economy.

The intended result is a design of a new type of water treatment to selectively remove drug residues and pesticides from drinking water and from wastewater from sewage treatment plants on a large scale and a business case that shows the economic feasibility of the concept for both market segments. To achieve the intended result, the technology will be optimized on a pilot scale and tested for removal efficiency of micropollutants, energy consumption, maintenance and scalability for both the market segment of drinking water production and the market segment of WWTP effluent treatment. The results of the pilot tests will enable the technology to be scaled up and a business case to be drawn up.

The new technology consists of 2 reactors connected in series:

  • a pre-purification reactor with ozonation and ultrasonication
  • a post-purification reactor with UV-C irradiation, ultrasonication and hydrogen peroxide dosing.

The work involves development of the pre-purification reactor equipped with ozonation and ultrasound, testing and optimization of the pre-purification reactor, testing and optimization of the series circuit of pre-purification reactor and post-purification reactor, making a process design based on the results and preparing a business case.

This development is possible thanks to the VIA 2019 collaboration low-carbon scheme and involves a collaboration between Water Waves B.V. and Lamp-Ion B.V.

Project “Innovative removal of medicine traces and pesticides from effluent of municipal waste water treatment plants”

A lot of waste water contains micropollutants such as medicine traces and pesticides. These compounds finally end up in municipal waste water treatment plants, where they are only partly removed during the purification process. As a results, these micropollutants end up in our surface water and finally also in our environment and drinking water, which is ecologically undesired. For this reason there is a need for sustainable innovative technology that makes it possible to selectively remove micropollutants from waste water at limited energy and investment cost. This project comprises the development of a completely new technology for an additional purification step in municipal waste water treatment plants to remove any remaining traces of micropollutants from the effluent.

The technology consists of a unique filtration and advanced oxidation process based on UV-C irradiation, ultrasound, iron electrolysis and inline measurement of water quality. The latter is important in order to dose the optimum amounts of UV-C irradiation and chemicals to the purification process at a strongly fluctuating flow and composition of the effluent stream of municipal waste water treatment plants.

This development is possible thanks to VIA 2018 Plus and an intensive cooperation and the unique expertise of the companies Water Waves, Lamp-Ion and Brightwork. The aimed project result is a validated business case for the application of the new technology at municipal waste water treatment plants of different capacities.

Project “Sustainable Strawberry Fields Forever”

A consortium of project partners Lamp-Ion B.V., Water Waves B.V., Appsen, and Aquacolor Sensors B.V. have joint forces to reduce the ecological footprint of greenhouses. The project was awarded an EU Vida grant.

The horticulture sector has a significant ecological footprint due to its vast energy and water consumption, and the production of wastewater streams containing plant nutrients and traces of pesticides.

This project aims to demonstrate new and innovative technology to save between 20 to 60% of energy, water, and chemicals in a full-scale strawberry greenhouse. The technology to be demonstrated will prevent crop infection with micro-organisms, crop toxification with sodium ions, and it will remove pesticides from the wastewater stream. Finally, the formation of the wastewater stream will be reduced by at least 60%.

The project objectives are achieved by an “all-in-one concept” that integrates disinfection of recycling water in greenhouses, purification of the wastewater streams from pesticides through advanced oxidation, algae destruction in rainwater storage tanks through ultrasound and steering of the wastewater purge based on a sodium sensor.

The new concept will be demonstrated at end-user APM Aardbeien at Berlikum, The Netherlands. Based on energy and mass balances, it is expected that the new concept is both technically and economically feasible and that it provides an environmentally friendly solution for optimizing the water cycle in greenhouses and saving natural resources at the same time.

The demonstration phase will provide valuable data making it possible to draft business cases in other horticulture market segments such as the growing of tomatoes, sweet peppers, and cucumbers.

The societal impact of the new technology lies in the reduction of energy and water use during food production and preventing pesticides from ending up in our surface water and drinking water.

As long as EU policy and legislation does not require to improve the ecological footprint of the horticulture sector, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) do not have a business case yet for developing and implementing their innovations. The Vida program provides the financial means and required publicity, making it possible for SMEs to co-create innovations that are input for and anticipate new environmental legislation.

This project was awarded by the VIDA project and has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement no 777795.
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