Carbon capture technology benefits growers and environment
April 20, 2012 By Treena Hein
ProSelect Gas Treating Inc. officially unveiled the world’s first carbon capture system for the greenhouse industry today at the SunSelect Produce greenhouses in Delta, British Columbia. The GC6 Carbon Capture System is a new technology that harnesses carbon dioxide (CO2) from biomass combustion emissions and converts it into fertilizer to grow climate-friendly greenhouse crops.
With the launch of this $5 million Canadian-made innovation, greenhouse growers now have access to a clean, sustainable and cost-effective solution for greenhouse operations. The clean energy system allows growers to take advantage of vast resources of renewable and inexpensive biomass sources like wood waste to not only heat their greenhouses, but also deliver CO2 fertilizer to their crops. ProSelect says the unique technology is an all-in-one solution that can greatly reduce fuel and energy costs.
“Never before has there been a technology that can benefit the environment and the bottom line for greenhouse operators like the GC6 Carbon Capture System can,” said Victor Krahn, CEO and Co-Founder of ProSelect Gas Treating Inc. “Our goal is to help reduce our industry’s dependence on non-renewable fossil fuels while creating a sustainable legacy that supports locally grown food.”
The GC6 intercepts CO2 contained in biomass from entering the atmosphere and prevents it from contributing to global warming. The technology combusts biomass and captures carbon dioxide at a rate of 5 tons per hour. Then, as an alternative to typical sequestration methods such as burying CO2 beneath the earth’s crust, the GC6 system strips pure carbon dioxide and delivers it directly to growing greenhouse fruits and vegetables as a natural fertilizer. The carbon cycle is then completed as we eat our way to a carbon negative future, having transformed the renewable, regenerative, naturally occurring carbon from wood waste into food.
Using biomass to heat greenhouses has become increasingly popular due to it’s sustainable and economical nature. Costs for biomass are minimal and often only involve local delivery fees. Until now though, operators had to rely on non-renewable sources like natural gas and liquid CO2 for fertilizing their crops. The GC6 is the only system that can convert captured carbon dioxide into pure, food grade CO2 fertilizer using a patented organic solvent.
A key advantage for growers who make the switch to the GC6 or retrofit their systems with it, is the significant reduction in fuel and energy costs, which can add up to as much as 50 per cent. In British Columbia, growers have the additional benefit of being exempt from the B.C. carbon tax which applies exclusively to the purchase of fossil fuels and not biomass.
Further financial benefits include savings on chemicals and disposal fees; access to green government grants to help compensate for purchase costs; and revenue created from developing, trading and selling carbon credits through programs like Offsetters, a leading Canadian provider of carbon management solutions.
“ProSelect has taken a very strong leadership position by developing the GC6 which has the potential to significantly reduce the industry’s dependence on fossil fuels and the resulting impacts on climate change,” said Dr. James Tansey, CEO of Offsetters. “We hope that local governments will provide incentives for growers to make the switch to the GC6 to achieve a negative carbon footprint, one greenhouse at a time.”
Partial funding for the GC6 Carbon Capture System pilot project was provided by the Government of British Columbia’s Innovative Clean Energy Fund ($2.24 million) and the Government of Canada through Sustainable Development Technology Canada’s SD Tech Fund ($1 million). ProSelect’s strategic partners are Vyncke, suppliers of the GC6 biomass boilers; Koch Glitsch, a leading global engineering firm which provided the integral internal packing materials; Procede BV, a leading Dutch engineering firm specializing in innovative green technologies; and SunSelect Produce, a B.C.-based greenhouse company with more than 25 years of industry experience.
Read more about the GC6 Green Carbon Capture System here.
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