Nice Dutch project using ‘waste’ heat and CO2 to increase greenhouse yields!


Photo credit przemion ?

Came across a great story on pressreleasefinder today via Twitter about a project in the Netherlands called WarmCO2.

What is WarmCO2?

It is a project which takes residual heat and CO2 from Dutch fertiliser manufacturer Yara and using infrastructure supplied by partner company Visser & Smit Hanab, pipes them to vegetable growers in the nearby Terneuzen commercial greenhouse project.

From the release:

WarmCO2 will be redistributing up to 84MW of residual heat and 70,000 tons of purified CO2 per year. The CO2 is used by growers to enrich the greenhouse atmosphere and encourage crop growth. Normally they would use a natural gas fired boiler to produce both CO2 and heat throughout the growing season, or a combined heat and power installation that supplies heat, CO2 and electricity, which is then fed back to the national grid.

As a result of the Terneuzen greenhouse project the redistribution of heat and CO2 from Yara via WarmCO2 will save some 52 million m3 of natural gas, which translates into a 90% reduction in fossil fuel consumption. This makes Terneuzen one of the most sustainable commercial greenhouse developments in the Netherlands.

This is being made possible by the “Green Projects” initiative of the Dutch ministries of Health & Environment, Agriculture and Treasury. This initiative offers fiscal benefits to ‘green’ investors and savers, which in turn allows banks to offer financial loans at lower interest rates. Under the Green Projects initiative a maximum of € 25 million can be made available per project.

ABN AMRO are the banking partner in this project and they stumped up the maximum €25 million (out of a total investment of €80 million in the project).


I wrote a post back in January wondering…

I wrote a post back in January wondering if inkjet printer manufacturers would ever ship inkjet printers with inkwells instead of cartridges but wasn’t very optimistic about it ever coming to pass!

It turns out Xerox are doing just that with their solid ink printers! You buy the blocks of ink (no cartridge), drop them in the ‘well’ where they are liquified and printed from! Brilliant!


Will we ever see inkwells replace inkjet cartridges?

HP inkjet printer cartridge return envelope

Photo credit scoobyfoo

HP’s Ed Gemmell contacted me the other day to let me know that

HP will celebrate first anniversary of ‘closed loop’ manufacturing for inket cartridges at end of Jan

I followed the link to see what HP were doing with their inkjet cartridges and, in fairness to them, they seem to be doing some good stuff!. From their release:

HP today announced it has developed an engineering breakthrough that enables the use of post-consumer recycled plastics in the production of new Original HP inkjet print cartridges.

More than 200 million cartridges have been manufactured using the process thus far. HP used more than 5 million pounds of recycled plastic in its inkjet cartridges last year, and the company is committed to using twice as much in 2008…. In addition to closing the design loop, using recycled content saves energy and keeps plastic out of landfills – since first piloting the process, HP has used enough recycled plastic to fill more than 200 tractor trailers….

“HP’s use of recycled plastic in an application as technically demanding as their inkjet cartridges represents an unprecedented engineering innovation,” said Larry Koester, vice president of Communications, Environmental Division, Society of Plastics Engineers. “This remarkable achievement comes after many years of perseverance and ingenuity by HP and their partners.”

So all very laudable, and recognised as such by the Society of Plastics Engineers, kudos to HP.

However, if HP wanted to be really Green about its inkjet printer cartridges it would make them completely re-usable. I should only have to buy one cartridge ever (or possible one per colour). I should then be able to buy ink refills in fully bio-degradeable packaging to re-fill my cartridge every time it runs out.

This would be a truly Green advancement in inkjet printing and to my knowledge, there is no technical barrier to this happening. Is it likely to happen any time soon? I guess that depends just how serious inkjet manufacturers are about being Green.

In fact, come to think of it, there should be no such thing as inkjet cartridges. If there is only to be one for the lifetime of the printer, it should be embedded, not removable. An inkwell, not a cartridge, into which I pour my refill.