Dutch town uses non-herbicidal strategy to control weeds

Posted On 08 Jul 2014
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WVEENENDAAL, the Netherlands: Eindhoven (the Netherlands) is killing weeds with hot water instead of chemicals. The town is using a machine that combines a solar-powered water boiler and a system that superheats water and dispenses it to kill weeds without using herbicides.

The equipment is made by WAVE Weed Control bv and according to company’s sales manager Huub Hiddema the hot water method is ’the most efficient and most environmentally friendly way for weed control.’

If  applied on time, you can stay ahead of the development of weeds on pavements without toxic chemical herbicides or brushing. The system uses a thin water film which is today only 30 percent of the one ten years ago. Recent research by the University of Ghent, Belgium reveals how  efficient the system works,” said Hiddema.  He added, “Water is a much better medium for transferring heat than hot air or steam if you want to control weeds.”

Hiddema explained that as soon as a weed growth point makes contact with water of more than 58°c, the growth point dies. Hiddema: “This is an important step towards a more sustainable  weed management. There is a decrease in both the total cost of ownership as well as the energy consumption and CO2 emissions. After the introduction of our full-field hot water machines we developed an effective method to selectively spray hot water. In doing so, we only spray hot water around weed once the detection system detects plants. We have managed to reduce the spraying surface around a weed plant further. Thanks to the increased capacity the square meter price of the WAVE method drops still further. With our new machines we are depending on the desired weeds image, at the lowest price per square meter per year. But’, the manager of WAVE Weed Control hurries to say, ‘ successful weed control on paved roads depends on more factors than the hot water method only. Municipalities and contractors should always do this in combination with sweeping.”’

The high efficiency solar water heater that the city of Eindhoven has taken into service, was developed by Rivusol from Eindhoven. The solar collectors have a total surface of 40 square meters. These are connected to a closed tubing system filled with water. The Sun’s heat is transferred into water in the boiler deposit of approximately 5,000 liters through a heat exchanger. Thanks to warming to around 60 ° c WAVE realizes a huge savings on the use of fossil fuels. Hiddema speaks of about 40 to 60 percent; CO2 emissions decrease and the usage fee is lower. The heated water from the storage vessel is pumped by a 2 inch hose in the standalone WAVE High Series 75/30 in a few minutes. This is a mobile machine that can take in hot water and already has been on the market for a number of months. With the WAVE High Series, a maximum of two man can perform the  weed control on (semi) pavements using hot water hose.

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