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Wageningen University builds emission-free greenhouse

The goal is to find ways to reduce CO2 emissions and use of protection agents and fertilisers in greenhouses.

Researchers at Wageningen University & Research (WUR) have built an emission-free demo-greenhouse for the cultivation of vegetables, fruit and flowers in an effort to find ways to reduce CO2 emissions as well as the use of crop protection agents and artificial fertilisers to zero.

Water and nutrients reused

Plagues and diseases are tackled biologically, and the energy-efficient greenhouse reuses water and nutrients as much as possible. This leads to cleaner cultivation as well as improved yield.

In the demo-greenhouse KAS2030, situated in Bleiswijk, Wageningen researchers are currently growing strawberries, the houseplant anthurium and the flowers gerbera and freesia. Especially freesia is a popular flower in bridal arrangements.

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The CO2-emissions produced by the Dutch horticulture industry totalled 5.7 megatonnes in 2017, which they aim to reduce to 2.2 megatonnes of CO2 by 2030.  - Photo: AFP
The CO2-emissions produced by the Dutch horticulture industry totalled 5.7 megatonnes in 2017, which they aim to reduce to 2.2 megatonnes of CO2 by 2030. - Photo: AFP

“Every 2 to 3 weeks, horticulturists visit to take a look and discuss our progress. The demo-greenhouse offers us the opportunity to experiment in ways that are impossible in actual practice. Through understanding what is required for emission-free cultivation, we can help the horticultural sector advance,” says Frank Kempkes, researcher Energy and Greenhouse Climate.

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CO2-neutral by the year 2040

According to WUR, Dutch horticulturalists sorely need this help since the sector has agreed to be fully CO2-neutral by the year 2040. The CO2-emissions produced by the sector totalled 5.7 megatonnes in 2017, which they aim to reduce to 2.2 megatonnes of CO2 by 2030.

Continue reading at the Wageningen University & Research website.

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