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Energy efficiency is not just low-hanging fruit; it is fruit on the ground.Stephen Chu, US Secretary of Energy
Dutch research investigates the effect of reduced CO2 dosing
One of the side effects of reducing energy consumption, or using biomass for heating, is that less carbon dioxide (CO2) is available for enrichment.
So, can crops be grown with less CO2 without reducing yield? This is the question that researchers from Wageningen University are currently trying to answer.
The research team is carrying out a project at the GreenQ Improvement Centre in Bleiswijk, Netherlands as part of 'Het Nieuwe Telen' — a Dutch initiative with the objective of lowering glasshouse energy consumption by 50% while maintaining the same production.
The aim of this particular project is to get a tomato yield of 64 kg/m2 whilst limiting CO2 inputs to 32.5 kg/m2/year — a dosing level that is about half of that commonly used by Dutch growers.
To do this, the research team is looking at ways of using the available CO2 as efficiently as possible.
The GreenQ Improvement Centre is a modern glasshouse facility dedicated to the development, testing and demonstration of new growing concepts and glasshouse technologies from all over the world.