Technology uses biomass emissions as greenhouse plant fertilizer

By Luke Geiver | April 26, 2012

ProSelect Gas Treating Inc. has released a carbon capture technology that can capture and repurpose flue gas emissions created in a biomass heating process. The system allows greenhouse operators to fertilize their fruits and vegetables with carbon dioxide captured from the biomass emissions.

The technology, called GC6, was officially unveiled at the SunSelect Produce greenhouses in Delta, British Columbia earlier this month. The system works by capturing the CO2 from the 14 MW Vyncke biomass boiler. The flue gas is filtered out and cooled before entering an absorber tower within the GC6 system. Using an organic solvent, the CO2 is stripped out of the gas stream and stored in a buffer tank, while the excess vapor is released into the atmosphere. When the greenhouse needs CO2 fertilizer, the solvent in the tank is heated and released into the greenhouse. A monitoring system oversees the CO2 stream entering the greenhouse, venting it out if a high level of pollutants are detected.

“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 of ProSelect Gas Treating. The GC6 technology captures the CO2 created from the biomass boilers at a rate of five tons per hour, according to ProSelect Gas Treating, and delivers the gas directly into the greenhouses. The carbon cycle is then completed, having transformed the renewable, regenerative, naturally occurring carbon from wood waste into food, according to ProSelect.

The technology was a result of several funding partners, including the government of British Columbia’s Innovative Clean Energy Fund, the Government of Canada’s Sustainable Development Technology Canada SD Tech Fund, Vyncke, which supplied the biomass boilers, Koch Glitsch, the engineering firm that provided internal packing materials, and Procede BV, a Dutch engineering firm that provided help with engineering. In total, the project received $3.24 million in government-based support, while the rest of the $5 million project was funded by ProSelect Gas Treating. 

The ProSelect Gas Treating technology was created through a joint venture between SunSelect Produce and Procede BV.