CO2 Fertilization

When used in greenhouses, GE’s Jenbacher combined heat and power (CHP) systems not only provide electricity for the public grid, but also heat and carbon dioxide (CO2) to fertilize plants and meet the requirements of an efficient greenhouse. Plants grow by converting CO2 —also found in air—to carbon through photosynthesis, and greenhouse plants absorb even more CO2 because of the increased artificial lighting that is present. If the greenhouse environment is enriched with CO2, the temperature is kept constant, and sufficient lighting is provided, plant growth and the harvest yield can be increased significantly.

Products from our aeroderivative gas turbines product line, including a dual-rotor, direct-drive turbine and an offering that marries a single-rotor gas turbine to an aerodynamically designed power turbine, also work very effectively and efficiently in greenhouse applications. These machines are noted for their fast-start (10 minutes) capability, low NOx emissions and lightweight, compact, modular design.

How It Works

The energy created by gas engine cogeneration systems includes the electricity that powers grow lights and/or can be fed into the public grid, the heat that meets the environmental requirements of a greenhouse, and the CO2 from engine exhaust gas that fertilizes the plants.

  1. When natural gas is burned in gas engines, nearly 1.8 kg of CO2 is produced per m3 of natural gas. This CO2 is present in the exhaust gas in a concentration of approximately 5 to 6% by volume.
  2. After exhaust gas is purified with special catalytic converters (SCR and oxidation), it is cooled down by a heat exchanger to around 50°C and supplied to the greenhouse for CO2 enrichment.
  3. GE aims at the greatest possible safety for vegetation. Therefore, a measurement and guarding device provides a constant assessment of exhaust gas levels.

Features & Benefits

  • Excellent overall efficiency levels go as high as 95%, with high contribution to resource conservation.
  • Heat storage offers time-independent supply of CO2 and heat.
  • Zero to 100% load is achieved within 10 minutes.
  • Additional flexibility includes the option to supply electricity into the public grid.
  • LEANOX ® lean mixture and Dry Low Emissions (DLE) combustion means very low emissions.
  • The DIA.NE ® XT engine management system offers excellent operational safety and availability, as well as improved reliability with integrated grow light controls.
  • Application construction time is greatly reduced because the solution is highly standardized.
  • Design is lightweight, compact and modular.


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