ARCHIVED - New technology cleans up a critical part of the milk industry
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May 15, 2007— Ottawa, Ontario
In what may be one of the most fundamental improvements in the milk business since pasteurization, Terry Kemp no longer needs to clean his fleet of milk trucks using hot water and harsh chlorinated disinfectants. Instead, he can do the job with water that has been treated with ozone, spending less money and taking less time to get vehicle tanks cleaner than ever before.
Kemp's company, Noblewood Transport, is based in Burgessville, the heart of Canada's dairy country in southwestern Ontario. His partner in this venture has been Harold Krause, founder of Brantford, Ontario-based Krause O3ozotech, who has pioneered the use ozonated water for various commercial applications.
Ozone, a special form of oxygen with three molecules instead of the two usually found in the air around us, offers an outstanding ability to remove bacteria and other contaminants. And unlike most chemical disinfectants, it leaves no residue but simply reverts back to oxygen in the atmosphere we breathe.
Kemp and Krause worked on a system of tanks and valves to make the washing out of milk trucks with ozonated water as automatic as possible. During a lengthy process of research and development, Kemp and Krause were helped by the National Research Council Canada's Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP), which provides a range of both technical and business oriented advisory services along with potential financial support to growth-oriented small and medium-sized Canadian enterprises.
Delivered by an extensive integrated network of Industrial Technology Advisors — a group of some 260 professionals in 100 communities across the country — NRC-IRAP supports innovative research, development, and commercialization of new products and services.
The program provided funding to Noblewood and O3ozotech for their preliminary work with ozonated water, to prove the technical concept. IRAP then referred them to the Agricultural Adaptation Council's CanAdvance program for further support, to scale up to pilot size.
"It really helped us get from one step to the next," recalls Krause. "But it also gave the project some credibility. And with that, we had other people funding it."
Such credibility was also important to demonstrating the effectiveness of this technology to authorities at the Dairy Farmers of Ontario, the Ontario Milk Transport Association, and the provincial Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs, which oversee the complex set of regulations safeguarding this fundamental agricultural product.
Now that these agencies have granted official approval to the ozonation technology, Kemp is enjoying the advantages of using not only less water, but cold water. That makes the process easier on the trucks, eliminating the structural stress that was caused by injecting tanks with hot water and subsequently cooling them down to carry milk.
And it has also meant less stress on the septic system of his rural operation, which no longer needs to handle the disposal of large quantities of chlorine-based cleaning agents. In fact, the septic tank can itself be cleaned with ozonated water.
Kemp who represents the third generation of his family in the dairy business, remains grateful to NRC-IRAP for enabling Noblewood to overcome both technical and bureaucratic challenges, and point his business in a promising direction.
"There's a lot of protocol to make a project like this work," he says. "NRC-IRAP was a big part of it. They provided some great support and gave us the confidence to pursue this monumental task."
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