Pulp fiction: What do cucumbers and pulp have in common?

In Quebec, Canada you can find the answer: Carbon Capture and Utilization. Three companies are working together to reduce CO2 emissions and increase crop yields.

The Resolute Forest Projects mill, which produces a diverse range of products, including pulp, wood products, tissue paper, news print and speciality papers has teamed up with Serres Toundra Inc. in a mutually beneficial deal. Serres Toundra operates a massive world-class vegetable greenhouse, specialising in cucumbers, that is located adjacent to the Resolute mill.

CO2 Solutions, a Canadian carbon capture technology firm, enters the partnership by providing their enzyme-based capture technology to capture the CO2 emissions from the Resolute mill. The 30 tonnes-per-day of CO2 is used in the 114-acre greenhouse to provide CO2 for the cucumbers. The extra CO2 produces enhanced growing conditions for the crop.

The idea of utilising CO2 emissions for use in greenhouses is not a novel concept with the practice common in the Netherlands. The value of this small scale capture and utilisations project is that its learnings can be extrapolated over a large scale with the aim of  bringing the cost of capture technologies down.

Solar energy was said to be too expensive a decade or two ago, yet the costs have dropped dramatically since then due to advancements in technology as learning by doing has occurred. For CCUS to gain the same sort of traction maybe those in the CCUS industry need to start looking at smaller scale applications of technology and gain the same lessons by learning by doing to reduce the cost sufficiently to allow the wide spread commercial deployment of CCUS.

CO2CRC have their $1m capture rig set up at the CO2CRC Otway National Research Facility and are confident that the capture technologies tested at the rig can be scaled up and used on larger carbon capture projects. Who knows what the future holds, but hopefully one day there could be CO2CRC technology installed on a project like the one in Canada. Anyone for a CO2CRC lettuce?