Market News

 May 01, 2012
Capturing carbon dioxide to grow food

 Delta, British Columbia-based ProSelect Gas Treating Inc. has unveiled a new carbon capture system for the greenhouse industry. The GC6 Carbon Capture System has the ability to harness carbon dioxide (CO2) from biomass combustion emissions and convert it into fertilizer to grow greenhouse crops.
This $5 million Canadian-made innovation gives greenhouse growers access to a more sustainable solution for greenhouse operations. The system allows growers to take advantage of renewable and inexpensive biomass sources like wood waste to not only heat their greenhouses, but also deliver essential CO2 fertilizer to their crops.

Victor Krahn, CEO and Co-Founder of ProSelect Gas Treating Inc said "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 and captures carbon dioxide at a rate of 5 tons per hour. The system strips pure carbon dioxide and delivers it directly to growing greenhouse fruits and vegetables as a natural fertilizer.

Using biomass to heat greenhouses has become increasingly popular. 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.

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 partners are Vyncke, suppliers of the GC6 biomass boilers; Koch Glitsch, which provided the integral internal packing materials; Procede BV, a 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.