IU To Turn GHG Emissions Into Plant Fertilizer

Nov 13, 2017

Indiana University wants to improve its sustainability – and it’s turning to a novel way of recycling to do so. The school’s main campus will turn its greenhouse gas emissions into plant fertilizer with the help of a photobioreactor.

The machine is made out of PVC pipe and will sit on top of the university’s central heating plant. There, it will capture plant emissions, which will be used to feed algae, which project co-leader Chip Glaholt says will be turned into plant fertilizer.

“Our goal is just to reduce waste on campus, and see that as a great achievement in itself,” he says.

The system will be built with the help of a $50,000 grant from Duke Energy. It will conserve 200 pounds of carbon and $4,000 worth of fertilizer – not a tremendous amount in the grand scheme of things, Glaholt says. But, he adds, the system is sustainable and can be doubled in size for only $2,000.