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  • Ozone is a powerful gas to disinfect agricultural soils without polluting
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Ozone is a powerful gas to disinfect agricultural soils without polluting

A group of researchers at the Technology Center Itagra.ct of Palencia found in ozone the solution to disinfect and prepare agricultural land for cultivation without residues, avoiding the use of chemical pesticides and pollution they generate.

The idea grew out of a project funded by the Economic Development Agency (ADE) of Castile and Leon in which is seeking applications in ozone for the agriculture, as explained to EFE the coordinator of R & D of the Technology Center Itagra.ct of Palencia, Alberto Sanz.

In testing on live plants, many questions arose that gave birth to a new project focused specifically on agricultural soil disinfection, recalled Sanz.

"Besides the fact they had changed the European regulations on the use of pesticides and some had been banned, including almost all those to disinfect grounds", he added.

This, plus there are crops such as strawberries, requiring disinfecting the soil before each planting, the challenge was served, because they needed a "disinfector" does not jump the powerful European legislation.

Because of it, it is born the idea of testing with ozone, and to demonstrate that the oxidant gas, with great capacity to disinfect agricultural soils, could be the best substitute for chemical pesticides.

The team led by Sanz and the agro engineer and environmental technician, Berta Gil decided to make the first tests in a soil previously infected with a high concentration of pathogens, aware that "it was a very risky bet with the complexity of the technology needed, "he pointed.

The results showed that mesophilic aerobic microorganisms, the most common microorganisms in the soil, the degree of ozone disinfection were higher than in many pesticides.

In fact, only be removed disinfections were achieved with methyl bromide, a plant commonly used highly polluting and harmful to the health of the person applying it, and also now banned, have explained Berta Gil.

At the end of three years of research, with support from the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock of Castilla and Leon, they have concluded that ozone, a gas with high oxidizing power, is very effective in eliminating microorganisms and weeds.

Also, do not pollute, it leaves no residue in the soil, only oxygen.

It does not pollute because the product resulting from the decomposition of ozone is oxygen, so that once the treatment, disappeared within minutes all residue and nothing remains that can contaminate the soil.

But as with many discoveries, are not all advantages, since the capture of ozone consumed a lot of electricity to be generated and also the place where it will be applied, so that oxygen does not degrade and lose the ability to oxidize.


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