Let It Grow
Hoek Loos takes lead role in Greenhouse project
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.