Apple Washing in Roen: Customers in Italy Use Ozone to Save Water

At Xylem, we solve the water challenges that our customers present to us.

Let’s go to an apple farm in the cooperative of Caldaro in the Bolzano Province, Italy. Their goal was to specifically clean the bacteria off the apples.  Processing is a delicate prospect, in that it is necessary to transport and wash the apples, but also sort them based on color and weight. The Wedeco (a Xylem brand) ozone system is used in this particular application by killing the bacteria in the water so that the water can used, then be reused. 

apple-farm-ozone.jpgThe results exceeded expectations. In fact, although the oxidizing effects of ozonation were noted, after treatment some concerns remained regarding the quality of the water inside the equipment. In contrast to what occurs in traditional systems, ozone treatment does not require complete emptying of the equipment, but instead a continuous reusing of the water itself.

Through this technology, the cooperative was able to significantly reduce their water consumption.  Our Italy team was very energetic, especially when discussing the fact that we were solving our customer footprint issues. 

The Science of Ozone

Ozone is a molecule found in nature that forms during thunderstorms, when lightening furrows the sky. In industry, ozone production is substantially similar, in that it’s based on the generation of electrical shocks that, passing through a stream of air or oxygen, are capable of breaking down the diatomic molecules of the very oxygen, that then regroup in triatomic form precisely generating ozone molecules. It is a molecule that is, in any case, unstable and, therefore, tends to decompose into the most innocuous diatomic form, without leaving behind any residues harmful to the environment or for food.

A Fruitful Outcome

With this technology, there were approximately 50 less working days each year.

"Ozonation," Weis concludes, "drastically reduced this necessity, to the point at which the flumes are emptied only once a month to remove deposits accumulated on the bottom.”

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