(127a) A Practical System for Enrichment of CO2 in Ambient Air for Commercial Agriculture

Hendrey, G., Queens Colllege, CUNY
Kolodji, B., Black Swan, LLC
Lewin, K., Brookhaven National Laboratories
Free Air CO2 Enrichment (FACE) by ~50% above ambient was studied extensively under highly controlled experiments and shown to increase plant net primary production by as much as 25% in many different crop and forest settings. FACE technology, developed by Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) and others, releases CO2 from an array of emitters into and around the plant canopy without use of any enclosures. The release is controlled by an algorithm that accounts for both spatial and temporal variation in wind speed and direction as well as near real time CO2 enrichment levels within the treated volume. Much effort has gone into developing the technology to maximize the efficient use of the CO2 since, as a refined product, CO2 usually costs $100-300/ton as a refrigerated liquid. More recently, enrichment of orchard crops with unrefined, CO2-rich effluent taken directly from a near-by natural gas-fueled power plant also achieved ~25% increase in crop yield. Since the CO2 was obtained at ambient pressure and very low cost, there was no need to use expensive flow and directional control equipment to regulate its release. We anticipate a scale-up in the use of power plant effluents in this way, but we foresee an increasing delivery cost for the CO2 as distance from the source increases. This will necessitate more efficient application of the CO2 and require the use of a CO2 control system similar to that developed for the BNL FACE studies. FACE technology and its possible application in this way will be discussed.