It occurs naturally in Earth’s atmosphere as a trace gas; a colorless gas with a density about 53% higher than that of dry air. Carbon dioxide (CO2) molecules consist of a carbon atom covalently double bonded to two oxygen atoms. CO2 is a critical aspect to supporting most all living things. Woo! Exciting stuff! Now we have the important science out of the way, let’s explore CO2s importance in today’s growing practices.

Studies show that CO2, no matter your crop, supports the speed of growth and increased yield. “When the concentration of carbon dioxide in the air outside a plant leaf goes up, it can be taken up faster, super-charging the rate of photosynthesis”. Displayed below in figure 1 we will see a growth rate chart related to CO2 injection. The graph shows increase plant growth from CO2 is between 800 – 1600 PPM (parts per million). While this is a good general representation, you should research your specific crop to find the ideal PPM measurement.

Figure 1: Relation between CO2 concentration and rate of plant growth. Source: Roger H. Thayer, Eco Enterprises, Redrawn by Vince Giannotti.

 While there is no-doubt benefits to CO2, we must acknowledge the potential dangers. CO2 can pose a danger and even death to both plants and humans if the concentration becomes too high. According to the CDC, “NIOSH has a REL for carbon dioxide not to exceed 5,000 ppm over an 8-hour TWA and a 15-minute TWA STEL of 30,000 ppm for carbon dioxide in workplace air and an IDLH air concentration of 40,000 ppm that can cause death or immediate or delayed permanent adverse health effects or prevent escape from such an environment” Simply put, do not spend a “long” duration in a space with CO2 injection with out a CO2 monitoring tool in place. This is a great Segway into how you can dose and monitor safely, Argus controls. 

Argus systems can monitor environments for CO2, it will measure levels via stand-alone or hanging aspirated sensors, trend and save data and control the vales that control the dosage. Argus will also tie into the CO2 alarm system, so if an Argus sensor detects a CO2 level above the parameters, it will sound and audible and visual alarm. Understanding this basic info should encourage you to further explore CO2 injection for your crops. When done in the correct way, you can expect to see an increase in your plant’s health and yields.

In summary, if increasing plant yield via the most consistent and safest way possible; contact TC Controls. We will provide you with a custom solution that will keep you and your plant is the ideal environment!