VIDA Awarded Project - DV208 - Environmentally friendly and lean purification of water streams in the horticulture sector

Submitted by Ana Fernandes on 08 September 2020

Project partners and location at the end user where the project is executed on production scale



25 February 2020 / 25 February 2021


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 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.


Water Waves

Aquacolor Sensors


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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme, under Grant Agreement nº 777795.

Disclaimer: The content of this document represents the view of the author only and is his/her sole responsibility: it cannot be considered to reflect the views of the European Commission and/or the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-size Enterprises (EASME). The European Commission and the Agency do not accept responsibility for the use that may be made of the information it contains.

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