Canadian Manufacturing

Feds invest $3.7M in waste heat project at Ontario ethanol plant, greenhouse

The emissions-saving project will use a new technology to take advantage of industrial waste heat and carbon dioxide to improve tomato yields


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CHATHAM, Ont.—An innovative collaboration between a southern Ontario ethanol plant and nearby greenhouse has received $3.7 million in backing from Ottawa.

The project makes use of waste heat and carbon dioxide from Greenfield Global’s ethanol production facility in Chatham, Ont. by shipping it across the road to Truly Green Farms, which grows tomatoes in a 45-acre greenhouse.

“This investment is helping Greenfield convert what was previously waste heat vented from a heat stack at our ethanol facility in Chatham, into the heat needed to grow greenhouse tomatoes with lower energy use and heating costs,” Howard Field, Greenfield’s president and CEO, said in a statement.

The collaboration effort takes advantage of a new Dutch technology that transfers heat and CO2 using pipes.

The emissions-saving project was first conceived in 2012 and Truly Green Farms has been working to develop and expand the site since. The company currently has 45-acres of greenhouse space, but plans to double that footprint to 90 acres over the next several years.

Greenfield’s nearly 20-year-old ethanol plant, meanwhile, is capable of producing several hundred million litres of fuel ethanol and industrial ethanol each year.

The federal government said the project has created 200 jobs over the past five years.


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