Today, AR-coated glass can be cleaned using environmentally friendly products with no harmful vapour action. Hygeniq, based in Enschede, has developed a new glass cleaner that is an alternative to aggressive fluoride-based cleaning agents. 2018 was the first year in which Hygeniq’s organic cleaner Greenhouse Glassclean was used on a large scale during crop/plant rotation. This was thanks to the cooperation between Hygeniq and Royal Brinkman who formalised their partnership with an agreement in mid-December that year. As a result, Royal Brinkman became the official – and sole – distributor of Greenhouse Glassclean.
From left to right: Royal Brinkman’s chief procurement officer Ramon Verdel, HYGENIQ’s commercial director Mario Bussink and Royal Brinkman’s product specialist Gai Vegter sealing the cooperation agreement.
Eco-friendly solution to environmental issues
The constant developments in horticulture require a new approach to cleaning greenhouse glass. The glass used in the sector has an anti-reflective (AR) coating and cannot be safely cleaned with the cleaners in common use today. Such cleaners cause irreparable damage to anti-reflective coatings which are meant to ensure that approximately 8 percent more light is transmitted. Moreover, it would be a pity to lose this extra light transmission because the glass cannot be properly cleaned with water alone.
In addition, current Dutch water purification requirements and zero discharge goals are forcing the horticulture sector to find responsible solutions. Naturally, this applies to all areas and not just to cleaning greenhouse glass. Carbon-fluorine compounds do not readily degrade and persist in the environment. They therefore cannot be used in greenhouses that recycle water. For quite some time now, the market has seen consumer preferences shifting to more sustainable and organically cultivated fruit and vegetables. Greenhouse Glassclean is therefore a welcome new cleaner for these growers, too.
In mid-2017, Royal Brinkman first started working with HYGENIQ, a firm experienced in biobased solutions. Together, HYGENIQ and Royal Brinkman are partnering the horticulture sector in its transition to becoming cleaner, greener and safer.