Effect on the environment
The choice to use hot water to control weeds ensures considerably smaller lifecycle effects (LCA) than the choice to use herbicides. The lifecycle effects created by the method are mostly due to the use of diesel fuel to operate the device, but the effects are reduced by the high operating efficiency of the device.
As the professional community is well aware, the use of glyphosate has been discussed worldwide. In the summer of 2015 The International Agency of Research on Cancer (IARC), a semi-autonomous unit of World Health Organization (WHO), issued a report stating that glyphosate is a substance that “probably causes cancer in people”.
The European Union (EU) gave the use of glyphosate an extension until the end of 2017. In 2017 the EU member states renewed the marketing authorization for another five years, until 2022, after a tight vote. The European Parliament has given a resolution in which it proposes to phase out the use of glyphosate by the end of 2022.
Meanwhile, many countries and organizations demand a ban for the use of glyphosate, and social pressure encourages choosing non-chemical methods to control weeds, regardless of legislation.
Active substance100°C water
The effect of hot water in weed control is based on a sudden surge of thermal energy, which damages plant tissue. Water is a great medium in transferring heat due to its great heat capacity of 4,18 kj/K. In comparison, the heat capacity of steam and air is 2,08 and 1,01 respectively.
Many plants have a natural mechanism to protect them from fire, but since hot water is not a natural threat to plants, they have not developed mechanisms to protect themselves against it. Since water enters the vegetation and root system of a plant, thermal weed control makes it possible to kill plants, and eventually their roots as well.