Aqualution has always been committed to sustainable development. We develop solutions using our hypochlorous for customers that reduce energy consumption, reduce water wastage and also reduce the amount of chemicals used in disinfection processes.
Our technology is being used around the world for the better, faster, safer and more environmentally friendly washing and disinfection of fruits, salads and vegetables for which we won the VIBES Hydro Nation Water Innovation Award in 2018 and were in the top 10 for the Best of VIBES in 2019.
We have worked with M&S for a number of years and were approached by them to test our hypochlorous product and systems with the aim to reduce the amount of chemicals used to disinfect fruits, salads and vegetables.
Existing systems typically acidify sodium hypochlorite to a pH of about 7 which converts approximately 50% of the sodium hypochlorite to hypochlorous to kill the spoilage and food poisoning micro-organisms on the product. Our core biocidal technology produces 99.6% pure hypochlorous so to get the same level of decontamination we could immediately half the chemical concentration.
Simply from understanding the science, we knew that we could at least halve the amount of chemicals being used in the traditional washing and disinfection process but once we started testing our biocide and system with growers in Africa we noticed just how much water and energy was being wasted through their normal processes. A typical plant uses 500,000 litres of H20 a week chilled to 4 to 6 degrees so we expanded the brief to try to reduce this water consumption and the energy required to chill the water.
Recycling the water through the jacuzzi flume systems we discovered enhanced the jacuzzi action, physically removing more micro-organisms from the product and into the water where they are easier to kill as they are no longer protected by biofilms.
We coupled this discovery with the use of a vortex flow multi-media filter to filter the water coming out of the flume to an effective sieve size of 0.4µ which allowed us to recycle the water back into the flume to wash the next batch of product without any harm or any toxic chemicals being left on the food.
The results were remarkable; delivering water usage reductions of between 80-90%, energy savings of 85% (as the water was no longer needed to be chilled when using hypochlorous), and the system also reduced the chemical required by 80%.
Due to the water savings, M&S prioritised the implementation of the first commercial system in Africa, with their main supplier of vegetables in Kenya. The first system has been operational for some time now and consistently consumes 100,000 litres of water per week to process approximately 4 tonnes of produce per hour for 16 hours per day, 6 days per week. The previous process consumed 500,000 litres of water a week. This therefore ultimately delivers a reduction of 400,000 litres of water demand and effluent generation per week.
Because the system that we have developed is so efficient it pays for itself within 12 months. In addition to the economic impact of the reduction in water and energy costs to their businesses, the technology also transforms what was a batch process into a continuous process resulting in productivity being increased by over 25%, offering further benefits to the customer.
For more information about how we can help you to reduce water and energy in your washing and disinfection process or to talk to us about hypochlorous please contact firstname.lastname@example.org