FuelCell System Used at Greenhouse Where CO2 Spurs Plant Growth

Mar 24, 2014 1:49 pm ET

March 24 (Bloomberg) -- FuelCell Energy Inc., the biggest publicly traded U.S. fuel-cell manufacturer, is providing a power plant for a C$7.5 million ($6.7 million) project to convert landfill gas into electricity and carbon dioxide that nourishes plants at a greenhouse facility in British Columbia.

Village Farms International Inc. combined the fuel cell with a system from Quadrogen Power Systems Inc. that collects and separates landfill gas, the Vancouver-based grower said today in a statement. One stream of gas powers the fuel cell, while “food-grade” carbon dioxide is used to feed plants.

Fuel cells convert natural gas into electricity, heat and hydrogen through a chemical reaction. Danbury, Connecticut-based FuelCell is seeking additional uses for its power plants to make them more cost competitive with electricity produced from burning fossil fuels.

Carbon dioxide accounts for about 25 percent of plants’ yields, and increasing the supply will spur growth and boost production of oxygen through photosynthesis, Village Farms said in the statement.