Cleaning wine tanks uses a large amount of water and chemicals: a 50m3 tank requires, on average, between 3.5-11m3 of water. As routine cleaning of tanks is a necessity, water, chemicals and waste water treatment become significant expenses on the balance sheets of wine producers. Therefore, reducing water usage is becoming more and more important, as there has been a general trend towards higher water prices throughout Europe over the past 20 years. Cleaning polluted water adds approximately 4.5kWh/m3 to company energy bills, and lengthy cleaning times means lost production.
The large amounts of water and chemicals needed to clean tanks are having an adverse affect on the environment. The EU is already suffering from a water shortage, and water restrictions are in force in many wine producing nations. The quality of some of Europe’s freshwater is also a concern. Pollutants from various sources can be found at levels that detrimentally impact aquatic ecosystems, degrade habitats and result in the loss of plants and animals. Food safety legislation has regulatory standards for cleaning wine production machinery, and regulations requiring vineyards to take measures to improve their environmental situation are becoming stricter.
BlueMorph have developed UVT, a unique patented waterless sanitation system for steel vessels and large tanks used in the beverage production process. The system is based on a UV (UltraViolet) light capable of full sanitisation that fully replaces current chemical, water and steam methods. The system uses germicidal ultraviolet light to kill microorganisms, and can fully sanitise a tank in less than 30 minutes.
UVT is the first truly environmentally friendly and low cost method of effectively sanitising tanks without water and chemicals. In France and Italy alone UVT has the potential to save between 670 million and 2.1 billion litres of water annually.