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Medien / Anwenderberichte / Let It Grow

Let It Grow


Hoek Loos takes lead role in Greenhouse project

It’s bad for the environment, can be dangerous for humans, and yet it’s so incredibly important for plants and life on this planet: Carbon dioxide (C02) is “food” for plants, they need this gas. It fuels the photosynthesis process producing the oxygen that humans breathe. In a country such as the Netherlands, with 10,000 total hectares of horticulture, the demand for the CO2 is particular great. The challenge, though: supplying Dutch greenhouses with sufficient amounts of C02 and doing so at a reasonable cost. Hoek Loos and its partners have taken the lead in an ambitious project that’s not only cost-effective for greenhouse farmers but also ecologically sound.

In late 2005, Atlas Copco Gas and Process’s compressor competence helped realize an ambitious and innovative project headed by the Dutch subsidiary of Linde Gas, Hoek Loos. The project is called “Greenhouse”: CO2 that’s usually emitted into the air is now recycled, serving as “food” for tomatoes and salad, for example: and that’s food that we eat. A Shell refinery and chemical plant outside of Rotterdam is the source of the CO2 and three Atlas Copco CO2 compressors transport about 170,000 tons of carbon dioxide to the greenhouses through a 200-kilometer pipeline network. 

”Greenhouse’s” innovative approach provides economic and ecologic benefits: In the past, greenhouse farmers had to burn natural gas even in the middle of the summer (about 95 cubic meters per year) to generate CO2. Now the farmers just “open the faucet”, so to speak, and receive food for their plants in a cost-efficient, environmentally sound and flexible manner. And that the Shell emissions don’t end up in the air now but are, instead, recycled further helps the environment.

But in addition to the cost cuts in CO2 supply, many greenhouse farmers also report greater product yields. In some cases, farmers have generated product yield increases of up to 40 percent, in addition to higher quality. In other words, the story about “Greenhouse” is also a story about benefits – benefits for everyone involved, from the environment to the end consumer.