Weed control with hot water


SBB’s goal is to phase out the use of glyphosate completely by 2025 and to move to alternative methods of weed control. Among other things, the use of hot water, which is sprayed onto the weeds by nozzles, is planned as an environmentally friendly option. The process for this is very promising.

Weed control – services of QUO

Together with SBB, QUO has developed the new hot water spraying system for weed control. In accordance with SBB’s specifications, QUO took over the concept development for the hydraulic system. After an initial search for ideas, feasibility studies were conducted and a first functional model was constructed. The system was then assembled in QUO’s own workshop and a proof of concept was carried out.

During development, the core team examined various types of valves and nozzles until the water flow and reaction times reached the desired values. QUO also adapted the sensor technology of Weedseeker®, an existing commercial weed detection system, for use on the SBB train. The system is now able to reliably detect weeds at a distance of up to 2 meters above ground and at travel speeds of up to 40 km/h, so that the hot water can also be sprayed onto the plants at the sides of the tracks.

The findings from the tests will be incorporated into the further development of the SBB hot water spraying system. SBB has an optimal and environmentally friendly weed control system at its disposal


Adapted plant recognition system
Verified hydraulic system for hot water spray nozzles

Scope of performance

Analysis of the requirements
Search for ideas
Concept development
Proof of concept
Adaptation of the plant recognition system

Project duration

18 months


5 employees

Process Steps