A startup has developed technology that captures CO2 from ambient air for use by greenhouse growers
Spotted: Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas harmful to our planet. But it is also a commodity. Plants use CO2 in photosynthesis, and increasing its concentration in a contained environment like a greenhouse increases crop yields, boosting profits. Commercial growers therefore purchase CO2 for use in climate-controlled systems. Currently, commercial CO2 is produced as a byproduct of burning natural gas for heating. The other main option is a system based on CO2 in liquified form.
Now, Kyiv-based Carbominer has developed a new carbon capturing module that produces agricultural CO2 in a new way – by capturing it from ambient air. This system is installed on-site at a grower’s facility so there is no need to transport or liquify the CO2. This saves both emissions and money. In fact, the company claims that the CO2 it sells is at least 35 per cent cheaper than prices in most developed markets.
Carbominer undertakes the installation of the capturing module itself, taking on the associated costs. The customer then purchases the CO2 of the company at a target price of €135 per ton of CO2 – the lowest currently on the market.
In addition to providing growers with a good deal, by removing CO2 from the air and feeding it to plants in the contained setting of a greenhouse, the company is helping to tackle the greenhouse effect in the world at large.
While Carbominer’s initial target market is agriculture, there are many further commercial uses for CO2, which the company may explore in the future – such as carbonated drinks, fire extinguishers, and enhanced oil and gas recovery. While some of these other uses involve the gas returning to the atmosphere, by reducing indirect emissions from transport and liquification, the Carbominer system will still lead to environmental benefits compared to other production methods.
Written By: Matthew Hempstead