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The journey of a carbon atom from Redvale

The journey of a carbon atom from Redvale

Some of you may know that Redvale Landfill & Energy Park provides landfill gas and hot water to a neighbouring greenhouse complex.

The greenhouse is New Zealand’s largest commercial aubergine grower, so we are helping local horticulture – which we are really proud of.

The aubergine greenhouse is pictured in the background

The really cool part is the journey of the individual carbon atoms involved. The journey is as follows:

  • Carbon atom in methane (from the decomposing waste at Redvale) is piped to the greenhouse
  • Same carbon atom is combusted in a boiler and combines with oxygen to form CO2 in the boiler exhaust
  • Same carbon atom in the CO2  is then directed into the closed atmosphere within the greenhouse
  • Plants take up that same carbon atom from the CO2 , return O2  to the atmosphere and use the carbon atom to grow the aubergine plant (leaves, stem and fruit).
  • When those stems and leaves (and any residual aubergine fruit foodwaste) are disposed of at Redvale, they decompose and the carbon atom converts back to methane (CH4), completing and restarting the cycle.

So, when you stand with an aubergine in your hand, you are actually holding Redvale’s carbon atoms. Hope your mind is suitably blown!.