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Ozone flagship project
The creation of the Ozone center of excellence

On September 23, 2009, UniLaSalle set up its Ozone feasibility laboratory.
Under the 2007-2013 Interregional Plan Contract and leveraging the momentum of the global Industries and Agro-Resources (IAR) competitive cluster, UniLaSalle is involved in developing technologies for implementing and using ozone and the related process engineering skills. UniLaSalle aims to become a European center of excellence for research, development and technology transfer in these disciplines.

 

 

UniLaSalle set up its « feasibility » lab to investigate how ozone reacts in aqueous media, solutes, fine divided solids and coarse divided solids. Four generic reactors were designed, produced and installed. They have been operational since June 2009.

This facility offers a wide range of possibilities for designing feedstock, decontaminating raw materials and agricultural co-products, decontaminating water, soil and air, pretreating organic materials to increase their biodegradability, extracting useful molecules for pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, etc.

 

 

Excellent scale-up potential

The feasibility lab is equipped with systems for ozone generation from air or concentrated oxygen and cooling systems as necessary for the ozone generator and the reactors. It has liquid oxygen storage facilities, a dry air preparation system and a mechanism for destroying residual ozone after reaction and before it is released into the atmosphere.

This unique facility has been designed to meet the requirements of industrial applications and can be used to perform virtually all theoretical and feasibility studies. The main areas of investigation are the environment, non-food applications for agro-resources, green chemistry, hygiene and food safety.

A patent for the elimination of crop protection products on treated seed

In March 2012, UniLaSalle developed a new process for the elimination of crop protection products and additives that coat rejected seeds. This new, clean process is based on the use of ozone and enables seed treated in this way by industrial producers to be recovered and reused.

Context

The destruction of rejected crop seed is a highly complex issue, given the wide variety of products and applicable regulations. Incineration with energy recovery for cement kilns has become the most common solution for disposing of rejected seed. Although it incurs costs for seed producers, this option has undergone major development in recent years, partly following the widespread application of the 2005 ban on disposing of pesticide-coated seeds in landfill and partly because of a lack of feasible alternatives (deep landfill, composting, green manures, etc.).

UniLaSalle’s innovative solution

An alternative, economical and non-destructive solution now exists for decontaminating treated seed at its production site, with very low environmental impact. This innovative dry decontamination process draws on the exceptional oxidizing properties of ozone and its comprehensive, non-selective action. Developed using the scientific expertise and technological infrastructures* at UniLaSalle, this process has already been applied to most major cereal and/or oilseed and protein crop seed types. Since the process does not alter the structure of the materials while they are being decontaminated, they can subsequently be fully recycled and potentially reused in the non-food sector.

This new decontamination process was developed as part of the DECO3 research and development program co-funded by the Picardy Regional Council over the 2009-2011 period. In late 2011, a patent was filed and registered (number 1160986) with the French Institute for Industrial Property (INPI). UniLaSalle is currently planning to promote this innovation to potential users.

* »Ozone » feasibility laboratory

Sustainable seed treatment in confined conditions

UniLaSalle has joined forces with Dynavia to offer a seed treatment solution in confined conditions, together with a stand-alone unit for treating effluents. This original concept combines security and environmental protection throughout the treatment chain.

Context

Companies in the crop protection industry have to keep one step ahead of regulations by adopting industrial solutions that combine effective treatment (seed coverage quality, maintenance of germination capacity, precise dosage, etc.) with the limitations associated with operator exposure (total confinement required for the processes of preparation, coating, cleaning and effluent collection). To meet these requirements, Dynavia has recently introduced an environmentally friendly industrial solution that respects the needs of operators and represents a significant technological breakthrough.

UniLaSalle’s innovative solution

An entirely automated solution for confined conditions can now be used to clean facilities and re-treat collected effluents while avoiding operator exposure. This innovative process is based on the exceptional oxidizing properties of ozone, as applied within an advanced oxidation process (AOP). Developed using the scientific expertise and technological infrastructures* at UniLaSalle, this process has already been successfully integrated into several decontamination programs.

The process was designed and developed at UniLaSalle as part of its cross-cutting R&D « OZONE » programs over the 2011-2013 period. On April 27, 2015, a partnership agreement was signed by UniLaSalle and Dynavia to enable the company to use and exclusively promote this innovation in connection with its industrial solutions.

* »Ozone » feasibility laboratory

Health protection and the Ozone 2020 project – AAP FUI 19

Alongside its partners, UniLaSalle is involved in the Ozone 2020 project certified by the three competitive clusters IAR, AXELERA and TERRALIA.

The aim of this four-year project is to demonstrate the technical and economic feasibility of using an ozone reagent to improve food safety in the agro-industrial sector. This project is fully in line with consumer demand for healthier products and anticipates future regulatory developments.

It is an ambitious and highly innovative flagship project that has no equivalent anywhere else in the world.

UniLaSalle’s existing expertise in the field of ozone, its multidisciplinary scientific environment and its outstanding ozonation capabilities (generation and use) make it a logical partner for this forward-looking project.