June 2nd, 2016
Steaming tests for strawberry cultivation were held on 1.06.2016 and included a tour of inspection, offering consultancy from Karlsruhe district experts on horticulture, fruit and wine cultivation and providing results of tests carried out using soil steaming, outdoors and in tunnels. The event took place at the Böser strawberry and asparagus farm in Forst, Baden.
Steaming tests for strawberries near Karlsruhe
Steaming was carried out in summer 2015 by Mr. Steffen Koch from the company Mobildampf. The expert consultant from the Karlsruhe district, Mr. Arno Fried, carried out a steaming demonstration resulting in improvements of up to 500%.
Diagram showing results of steam treatment in strawberry cultivation
Steam treatment is the ideal sanitation method for contaminated soils or grounds with a relatively high level of soil fatigue. You can obtain more details directly from Mr. Arno Fried: Contact
May 31st, 2016
Replacing methyl bromide is one of the most urgent challenges facing California too, in particular for strawberry growers. MSD GmbH’s international representative in the United States, Dutch firm Marten Barel Consultancy BV, started operations at the end of May with a large-scale facility in California using a MSD Steam Boiler, model S 2000.
24m² - spike steam hood behind towing vehicle with a hydraulic undercarriage on rollers
The energy-saving sandwich-type steam procedure is used for strawberry cultivation. Two 24m² sized spike steam hoods on a hydraulic undercarriage on rollers are alternately moved on one tracked vehicle respectively. 17 cm long spikes mounted under the hood heat the ground to over 80° C to a depth of 25 cm. As the soil is sandy, steaming time is around 7 minutes.
MSD steam boiler S 2000 incl. heating oil supply, mounted on a special trailer
The steam system put into operation with two spike hoods and the MSD Steam Boiler S 2000 currently has a daily capacity for total sterilisation of approx. 2,500 m² ground for strawberry cultivation, freeing the soil of weeds, diseases and soil fatigue. In a second phase beginning in 2017, the 1,500 hectare-sized horticultural business in California plans to invest in another steaming system capable of steaming more than 1 ha cultivated area per day.
May 19th, 2016
Persistent soil fatigue has forced the Chinese tobacco growing company in Yunnan province to explore new possibilities. Chemicals cannot be used for cultivation soil treatment since the seedlings are extremely sensitive.
The Chinese representative of the steam specialist MSD GmbH, Beijing Zhongjinguoyi Sciences Development Co. Ltd., has decided to acquire soil sterilisation methods using hot steam that are new to China. In mid-May 2016, steaming experts from Germany participated in the start-up of the first steaming equipment for sterilising substrates in Yunnan.
Start-up of a steam boiler model MS 100 for substrate steaming
As soon as steaming has established itself in operational procedures, further steaming equipment from Germany will be used, with the capacity to prepare hundreds of cubic metres of soil per day with hot steam, also over a cultivation area, for tobacco and ginseng farming.
April 19th, 2016
A mobile steam facility for sterilising substrate and soil was launched in the first quarter of 2016 at one of the largest national seed producers in Vietnam. The leading company is implementing the extremely cost-effective sandwich-type steam procedure for the first time using a hood with pins to sanitise topsoil up to a depth of 25cm under covered greenhouses, and thereby fully liberates them from weeds and soil-borne diseases.
Very effective sandwich steaming with two steaming hoods with spikes
Here, two manually portable steaming hoods with a surface cover of 8m² and 20cm deep special hollow pins are applied in each case. Both hoods are used in parallel and alternately moved. A steam chamber with a steam output of 400kg per hour is therefore used. The system’s ground coverage amounts to up to 400m² per working day, in which the soil is heated to more than 80°C within seven minutes at a depth of 25cm.
Steaming of coco peat in special steaming bunkers with vacuum system
In addition to steaming surfaces with the sandwich-type steaming method using a hood with pins, the company also sanitises large quantities of coco peat substrate. Therefore, special steam shelters were constructed with an extraction system and put into operation. Extraction is made possible using a special drainage system in the base of the individual immovable boxes. A mobile steam boiler, Type “S 350″, from the company MSD with a steam output of 400kg/h is also used for this purpose. The system works with the greatest efficiency and has the ability to fully clean up to 16m³ of coco peat at a target temperature of something above 80°C in one hour. The hot oil requirement rests on the basis of on-site readings with an average ~19L/h.
April 5th, 2016
In the spring of 2016, following a break, the nursery in the town of Böblingen decided to sanitise selected open spaces prior to sowing ornamental flowers in an environmentally friendly manner, by means of steaming weeds and weed seeds following recent years using other procedures in which no comparable, satisfactory results have been achieved.
The public provider therefore utilised the experience of the company mobildampf from Waiblingen (www.mobildampf.de). The company has provided steaming equipment and supervised as well as monitored the individual steaming processes.
Sheet steaming of flower beds in the city of Böblingen
Highlight beds on public streets were recently identified in the first days of April, which shall be designed as decorative flower arrangements, so-called “highlight beds”, following weed control using superheated steam. The company, mobildampf, has covered and steamed surfaces of up to 120m² in size within 2.5 days using the popular sheet steaming procedure. At the same time, a steam boiler from the company MSD was used with an output of up to 1,000kg steam/h.
The city of Böblingen made a conscious decision to use steam. Extra comparative tests were previously made in 2015 and thereby also left surfaces unsteamed. The results speaks for themselves (photos below). The steamed surfaces are completely weed free and the shoots of ornamental plants sown are clearly visible in rows. On the unsteamed surface (under the surface), the seeds grow uninhibitedly.
Steamed flower bed at Herrenberger Str. in Böblingen - no weeds
Unsteamed flower bed at Calwer street in Böblingen - weeds are everywhere
December 31st, 2015
The MSD sandwich-type steaming hood that is now put into operation in Alicante is the first MSD steaming hood of this type on the Iberian Peninsula. Due to the innovative spiked hood technology allowing both surface and deep steaming at the same time, it is now possible to increase the steam quantity that penetrates into the soil even by 50%.
As the result, the energy cost and steaming time are significantly reduced once more.
At favourable conditions (dry and not too loamy soil, etc.), the new spiked hoods from MSD allow the temperature to be increased to about 85-90°C at even 20 cm depth in 10 minutes. This requires merely about 8.5kg steam/sq. m. After the treatment, the soil is sanitised without chemicals and residues.
The spiked hood is simply moved by a mini-excavator.
Thus due to the heating oil prices, which currently remain low, 1 sq. m of soil can be treated with steam and completely liberated from pathogens, exhausting and weeds at 20 cm depth for only 30 cents heating cost (or 3,000 euros/hectare).
In Spain, the spiked hood can be easily moved by a mini excavator at low labour expenses. All in all, about 1,800 sq. m are monthly treated with this efficient steaming system. In this way, the company can also sanitise up to 4.000 sq. m monthly using a second spiked hood with the available MSD high-performance boiler of type S 750.
September 22nd, 2015
One of well-known and modern baby-leaf farms in West England now uses hot steam for sanitisation of 17ha cultivation soil in greenhouses.
This has become possible due to an invention by MSD GmbH in Durbach (Germany) concerning its special steaming hoods.
Three-membered special steaming hood with foldable outer components and hydraulically-driven auxiliary gear.
The special steaming hood is designed in such a way that it can also be used in narrow confines, e.g. greenhouses, without any problems. It consists of three members. The outer members can be folded out and back hydraulically. Thanks to such a design paired with a smart semi-automatic auxiliary gear, only one operator is needed to work with the entire system (in particular, to move the hood). The system can daily sanitize with hot steam up to 1,000 sq. m surface at maximum 15 cm depth at higher than 80°C. Currently, the heat oil consumption is about 0.65 l/sq. m
High-performance steaming boiler with steam supplying system, from MSD GmbH
The steam is generated by a high-performance steam boiler from MSD GmbH, Durbach. The steam is mostly supplied to the steaming hood by a pipe system, except the last 15 m. As the result, the mobile steam boiler needs to be moved only one time per each greenhouse aisle. This additionally optimises the efficiency of the steaming method.
August 30th, 2015
The solution to soil-borne problems most primarily with diseases is becoming particularly more urgent for cultivated areas for strawberries. In order to take new routes without chemistry, Karlsruhe Agricultural Office thus decided upon appropriate test areas for sanitising soil using superheated steam to grow strawberries.
The first surfaces were already steamed in May for this purpose. Steam specialist, Mobildampf, carried out the first tests using their own equipment. The most up-to-date soil steamers come exclusively from the company MSD GmbH with an efficiency of up to 96% when used.
Sheet steaming on strawberry beds. In the front you see treated area which was steamed two months before.
The surfaces were sanitised using the classic sheet steaming procedure. Overall, three 1,000m² sections were sanitised up to and into August using superheated steam up to 20cm deep. It was performed on extremely sandy soil and even incorporated raised beds. The results were rather convincing. Very strong crops are shown in surfaces steamed in May in the foreground of the image shown above. The rows of plants have remained completely weed-free throughout the months. Using an energy efficient procedure, such as hood or sandwich-type steaming, the costs of heating oil can be reduced to around 0.3 euros per m². Steaming consequently lends itself ideally to the sanitisation of surfaces for cultivating strawberries and represents a genuine alternative.
August 20th, 2015
In the first half of this year, one of well-known floriculture farms near Johannesburg decided to use a new steaming system to treat soil with steam on its 40 hectares. This company was advised by a well-reputed expert Mr Marten Barel.
For many years the company has been using a stationary coal-fired steaming system. Now this system is completely revised and replaced by a mobile steaming system from MSD GmbH (Durbach, Germany). The new state-of-the-art liquid-fuel steam boiler generates superheated steam at almost 96% efficiency factor. Due to this fact alone, the energy consumption was reduced to 0.4 l heating oil per square metre.
Spiked steaming hood on rollers with hydraulic lifting device from MSD GmbH (Durbach, Germany)
In this method, the hot steam is transferred into the soil by a very efficient steaming system. In sandwich-type steaming, the steam is injected by a spiked hood both at the surface and to 25 cm depth at the same time. The hood is a custom product. It can be automatically lifted and lowered by a hydraulic system. The system is towed on wheels through the greenhouse with a winch. Moreover, the steam boiler is placed on a low running gear allowing reduction of the total height just to 1.8 m.
Video for illustration of the spiked steaming hood and its operating principle (click here)
High-performance steaming boiler from MSD GmbH (Durbach, Germany) with low running gear allowing reduction of the total height by more than 40 cm.
During the steaming, a temperature of 80°C is achieved in about 6-7 minutes. Such temperature is enough to sanitize the soil and to eliminate pathogens and weeds.
July 19th, 2015
Japanese knot weed remains a major topic of control in Freiburg regional council. The extremely positive experiences using various steaming experiments against the pest introduced has additionally persuaded public providers to now gradually speed up the decontamination of large quantities of cuttings using superheated steam.
Pile steaming against Japanese Knot Weed with MSD steam boiler mounted on a trailor (right)
Soil steamin specialist, Steffen Koch, was commissioned with his company, mobildampf, in July 2015 to treat a 500m³ substrate on the River Elz using pure steam and therefore safely killing all germinable parts of plants, most notably the rhizome of Japanese knot weed to ensure that the soil can be moved and deposited.
Special steam injection lances for stack steaming
With a large scale plant, company MSD GmbH was able to treat the entire volume of soil using superheated steam with a steam output of 2,000kg/h within four days, which will be completely free from invasive neophytes. For this reason, approximately 80m³ of substrate was deposited and covered. Using specialised hollow steam injection lances, which can even be driven several metres into the mound of earth awaiting steam treatment, the steam was introduced. In the process, steaming time lasted a maximum of 2.5 hours. Heating oil consumption is an average of ~4 litres per m³.