Can carbon dioxide be a resource?
Yesterday I was on Teesside looking at the results of a remarkable project that I had a small hand in about 5 years ago. In a meeting with the management of a chemical company I asked why they didn’t use some of their excess heat for horticulture. They got very excited about it and asked their engineers to look into it. The engineers pointed out they’d been proposing this for a long time… sometimes it takes an outsider to grab management’s attention.
A couple of years later and Teesside now has a massive (90 000 sqm) set of glasshouses belonging to John Baarda Ltd holding about 300 000 tomato plants, which produce many millions of tomatoes every year for several major supermarkets. But the really interesting thing is they also pump carbon dioxide into the glasshouses to accelerate the growing – the atmosphere has about twice the concentration as the outside atmosphere. Talk about a greenhouse effect…
Bad puns aside, it goes to show that even the most notorious of our industrial emissions can be put to good use.