Vancouver, British Columbia-based The Oppenheimer Group continues to get rave reviews for the decision by one of its growers to add environmentally friendly technology to its greenhouse pepper-growing facilities.
In 2012, Oppenheimer partner SunSelect Produce introduced new technology that converts the carbon dioxide created in the greenhouse heating process into fertilizer for pepper plants, said Aaron Quon, Oppenheimer’s greenhouse and vegetable category director.
The revolutionary system, publicly launched by SunSelect’s sister company, ProSelect Gas Treating Inc., is called GC6 Green Carbon Capture.
In the process, biomass is combusted in a boiler to heat the 40-acre greenhouse, then the remaining flue gas is cooled, stripped of its carbon dioxide using a water-based organic solvent and stored in a buffer tank. Quon said.
Carbon-free excess vapor is then harmlessly emitted into the atmosphere. The resulting pure carbon dioxide-laden solvent is boiled off to release food grade CO2 gas at the demand of the greenhouse, cooled and administered directly to the plants.
“SunSelect is one of about a dozen greenhouse operations in BC that uses biomass from the timber industry as a heat source, but it’s currently the only one that repurposes the carbon dioxide the trees had respired in their lifetime into a source of nutrition for new plants,” Quon said.