With increasing EU population density leading to further projected increases in the intensity of horticultural cropping by 2% pa, and the phasing out of Methyl Bromide with no chemical alternative available, there is an urgent need to provide horticultur alists with an environmentally friendly, safe, cost effective disinfestation method for their land Our idea is to develop a high-speed treatment system based on a synergistic combination of injecting steam under pressure into the soil, a vacuum recircula tion system and mixing of the particles to achieve rapid equilibration and low losses at high input rates. In addition our idea efficiently generates the required steam directly from the soil moisture over a novel solid state heat exchanger, removing the need for costly and cumbersome large boilers and water transportation bowsers which limit the speed of application and damage the soil. The heat penetration rate from this technique will be high enough to mount the unit on a standard soil preparation rig, removing the need for slow and costly separate disinfection pass over the ground, bringing down operating and capital costs to affordable levels. The SME partners constitute a supply chain partnership that includes a heat source and control systems manufacturer, a spray and injector manufacturer, a soil preparation equipment manufacturer, a control systems manufacturer, together with a systems integrator and service provider in the soil turning and granulation area. End user input is also provided from a farming co-operative group and the technology developer who invented this concept. By helping leverage the limited RTD resource of the SME's this project will allow them to afford to produce a truly innovative product and disseminate it to develo p a new application market.
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Fougères Sur Bièvre
Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire