How greenhouse horticulture can benefit from carbon capture

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Carbon dioxide is one of plants’ favorite nutrients, so greenhouses traditionally rely on natural gas combustion for their growth. By contrast, carbon recaptured from the air can represent a more sustainable alternative. Lately, things have been happening in the Netherlands regarding the potential use of carbon capture in horticulture, including opening a dedicated research center. The sector is crucial for food stability but, like all other industries, needs to reduce its environmental footprint.

Carbon capture technology process involves extracting CO2 from the atmosphere, a gas essential for photosynthesis in plants. As plants absorb carbon dioxide and sunlight, they produce the oxygen and glucose necessary to grow and sustain life on Earth. However, the mechanics of carbon capture are not as simple as they may seem.

Direct Air Capture (DAC), a method of carbon capture, employs large fans that pull ambient air through filters or membranes containing materials that react with carbon dioxide, such as amines or potassium carbonate. The CO2 binds to these materials and is later released to collect, store, or use. While the concept is straightforward, the execution is laden with challenges, including the slow pace of absorption and the current high energy demand of the process


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