SASKATOON, Saskatchewan, April 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Grow Solutions Holdings, Inc. (OTCPink: GRSO) University of British Columbia 3rd year LFS 350 students have completed their study of the energy requirements of GRSO's planned indoor aeroponic Pure Roots Urban Farm in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada. Their final report wraps up the project and provides GRSO with some very valuable results that help them understand where they can improve and help even further their noble cause to have the lowest carbon footprint possible.
The students found that the carbon footprint of Blue Curled Scotch kale grown in GRSO's AeroPods was 7% lower than conventionally grown Chinese kale, a closely related crop. As part of their project they created a calculator to allow the energy draw and carbon footprint to be re-assessed as Pure Roots expands to different locations and continually refines its growing operations. "It is interesting to observe how aeroponic vertical farming in urban communities has dramatically less carbon footprint compared to conventional farming. I am optimistic that Pure Roots could continue this trend in all its future farms across Canada," said Andrew Suwardi, one of the students working on the project.
There were a couple notable areas where Pure Roots stood out compared with its conventional counterparts. Only 1.1% of Pure Roots' carbon footprint came from consumable inputs like fertilizer and grow media, while for the conventional crop more than 50% of its carbon footprint came from chemical fertilizers and associated runoff. The students also noted that the technology can be used to aid more self-reliant communities that do not rely on fresh produce through long distance transportation. Since outdoor growing is concentrated in a few geographical areas, produce traditionally travels in refrigerated trucks and through cold storage warehouses to get to the consumer, contributing 11 to 21% of the total carbon emissions of conventional produce farming. GRSO's AeroPods drastically reduce or cut out these contributing factors entirely, using 85% less fertilizer, having no runoff, and saving on fuel and refrigeration by growing produce where it will be eaten.
"While these results are very positive, the students' work also highlighted areas where we can improve to make AeroPod-based farming as sustainable as possible" said Lena Syrovy, VP of Agronomy at Pure Roots. "We were surprised to find that the students did not recommend investing in solar power, as it would currently only be able to meet less than 10% of the farm's daily energy needs. These findings give us a strong incentive to lower our energy consumption further and seek out alternative clean sources of energy to power our facilities wherever they are located," said Syrovy.
The students identified lighting as a high priority area where the largest gains could be made, comprising 67% of the total carbon footprint of AeroPod production. As a result of the project GRSO has already started working on design updates to further lower the energy budget for lighting. "I admire what the company is working towards and its continuous development to provide the best for environmentally-friendly, socially-equitable and economically-viable foods," said Suwardi.
Chad Fischl Chief Executive Officer and Director PO Box 2869 Jackson, WY 83001 (360) 612-0180
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