It's the main culprit blamed for global warning, but according to Tokyo Gas Co., the upside to it is better tomatoes.
Tokyo Gas is working with Chiba University on using carbon dioxide generated from the production of hydrogen for greenhouse cultivation of tomatoes. Tokyo Gas said the development can increase tomato harvests while reducing the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere.
Tokyo Gas produces hydrogen to power fuel cell vehicles, including buses that run from Haneda Airport to main areas of Tokyo. Fuel cell vehicle emissions contain few pollutants and are mostly water, but carbon dioxide is a byproduct in the production of hydrogen. Until now, Tokyo Gas' only option has been to release the carbon dioxide into the environment.
Under the joint study, carbon dioxide generated by Tokyo Gas from hydrogen production is liquefied and pumped into gas cylinders. Tokyo Gas ships about 320 kilograms of the liquid each month to Chiba University's botanical plant in Kashiwa.
At the plant, the liquid is vaporized back into a gas, and is sent to greenhouses where tomatoes are cultivated with concentration levels of the gas being 2.5 times higher than the normal level.
With higher concentration levels of carbon dioxide, tomato harvests are expected to increase 25 percent while also making the tomatoes taste sweeter.
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