Essays carried out in practical real conditions using AGREMSOIL prototype installed in IMIDA´s experimental farm have provided “very satisfactory” results, according to Dr José Fenoll, scientific coordinator of LIFE-AGREMSO3IL.
The aim of this project, which is co-financed by the European Commission’s LIFE Programme, is the agrochemical remediation of farm soils by combining solarisation and ozonation techniques. During the project execution, it is being assessed the influence of ozonation technology in pesticides soil content, the population of soil biota (nematodes and microorganisms) and its consequences on the performance of agricultural crops.
The tests were conducted using the Agremsoil prototype in an experimental greenhouse at Torreblanca IMIDA facilities and several treatments were assayed (solarization, solarization plus ozonation with surface ozone contribution, solarization plus ozonation with subterranean ozone contribution and solarization plus ozonation with dual ozone contribution) along with a control treatment (without solarization or ozonation treatments).
Results have showed a higher efficiency in treatments conducted with ozone, particularly when it is applied under soil surface. Pesticide degradation ranged from 10-20 % for control and solarisation treatments, 40 %
when ozone was applied in superficial or deep mode and 70% when the ozone was applied simultaneously in both ways, superficial plus deep. With respect to ozonation influence in soil biota, results indicate that, although the applied ozone may have certain negative effect in microbial biomass level, it did not affect to soil enzyme activities related to biogeochemical cycles and nutrients and increased the degradation of labile fractions of soil organic matter. More importantly, ozone did not affect the total content of soil organic carbon, which is fundamental indicator of soil quality and health.
After these promising results, the prototype was moved away from Torreblanca experimental farm to Cuesta Mula farm (Águilas, Murcia), a commercial plantation owned by Expo-Aguilas co-operative and dedicated to tomato crop, where we will continue testing its operation and performance in real farm conditions.
The AGREMSOIL project has evaluated the effects of ozonisation on a key component of soil fertility: its microbiota. Soil microorganisms are essential for plant development and are extremely diverse. Thanks to the enzymes produced by the microorganisms, simple compounds of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus are generated in the soil which are taken up by the roots of the plants and promote agricultural production.
Our preliminary results indicate that ozonisation promotes the degradation of pesticides. Ozone is also a disinfecting agent and could cause damage to soil microbes and their functions in the cycle of the mentioned nutrients. However, our preliminary results indicate that ozonisation does not cause changes in the activity of microorganisms, which is a positive result that could support the use of these technologies in soil decontamination.
Some links to important news about biodiversity:
The LIFE-AGREMSO3IL project attended the LIFE Platform meeting on Waste-Water Treatment, held in Barcelona, at the Agbar Water Museum on January 29th-30th 2020. The visit started with a field trip to Barcelona Baix Llobregat WWTP with Cetaqua LIFE projects aWARE, WIRE and ENRICH. AGREMSO3IL project was presented to the event’s audience during the speed presentation poster organized in the first plenary session of the meeting.
The LIFE-AGREMSO3IL project atended the 1st LIFE PureAgroH2O Conference, held in Athens on January 17th 2020. This event was hosted by the Benaki Phytopathological Institute and organized in collaboration with the National Center of Research “Demokritos”. LIFE PureAgroH2O project is expected to deliver a novel solution on the purification of agro-industrial effluents and the cost-effective reclaim of the treated water by means of photocatalytic nanofiltration technology for pollutant removal and water re-use of these agro-industrial wastes.
Initial tests, performed during last year, using a small prototype of the LIFE-AgRemSO3il project have provided “very satisfactory” results, according to Dr José Fenoll, scientific coordinator of the project.
The last essays (May-August 2019) were carried out in pots containing 3 Kg of clay loam soil (2.2% organic matter content, 33.94% clay, 39.87% silt, 26.19% sand) spiked with 33 active ingredients to 1 mg Kg-1 of each one and placed in a greenhouse. Three different treatments were applied to the soil: solarization (placement of a transparent plastic), ozonation + solarization (application of ozone while the soil is covered) and a control experiment was also conducted (without any treatment). The results showed degradations of 49% for control treatment, 69% for solarisation and 82% for ozonation + solarisation.
Regarding the effects on soil microbiota, the foreseen set of analysis was performed for every essay, and the results suggest that the assayed ozone conditions are not harmful in soil. These positive effects will be checked in the following stages of the project at larger scale.
The LIFE-AGREMSO3IL project attended the LIFE Platform Meeting on Chemicals held in Vilnius (Lithuania) between 28th and 30th November. This event was hosted by the LIFE project “LIFE Fit for REACH” (LIFE14 ENV/LV000174).
The project participated in the Eco-innovation for reduced production and use of hazardous chemicals workshop with the oral presentation: The silent problem of pesticide residues.
The LIFE-AGREMSO3IL project was represented at the international fruit and vegetable trade show, Fruit Attraction 2019, held at IFEMA, Madrid, between 22th and 24th October.
Project beneficiaries attended the country’s most significant agricultural sector event.
The LIFE-AgRemSO3il project was represented at the trade show by IMIDA and NOVAGRIC.