Greenhouses require CO2 as a critical component of photosynthesis to generate economic plant production yields. Greenhouse operators typically increase the amount of CO2 present in ambient air, by up to three times that amount, which can result in plant yields being increased by approximately 50% in most cases.1 CO2 Solutions’ industrial lung technology assures them a secure supply of CO2.
CO2 for greenhouses is traditionally obtained by burning fossil fuels such as natural gas in specialized CO2 generators. After complete combustion, the flue gases are introduced directly into the greenhouse. There are two major downsides to this process. The first is that natural gas produces moisture during combustion, which may be disadvantageous for growing certain plants. The second is that if combustion is incomplete, contaminants may be present in the flue gases that make their way directly into the greenhouse, which can be harmful to the plant culture.
To avoid these disadvantages, many greenhouse operators choose to use pure CO2. This has traditionally been supplied to greenhouses by truck in liquid form and has become popular amongst growers due the elimination of crop damage potential, lack of moisture production, more precise control over CO2 levels in the greenhouse, and more flexibility to introduce the CO2 when needed. A drawback of this approach however is that liquid CO2 is typically more expensive than CO2 generated from natural gas combustion. 2
CO2 Solutions’ carbon-capture technology solves the challenges of both supply methods, by allowing CO2 to be captured at higher concentrations and at lower cost from on-site combustion of natural gas or other fossil fuel. If the operator is situated near a stationary source of polluting emissions, the process can even capture and treat these emissions to extract the CO2 for reuse. A source of environmental pollution can therefore be transformed into an economical supply of carbon dioxide that benefits both the producer and the surrounding community, which benefits from reduced pollution.
1 Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Carbon Dioxide in Greenhouses, December 2002 (http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/crops/facts/00-077.htm#cultu)