Carbon Dioxide (CO2) enrichment is a proven, efficient, and successful means of massively boosting the growth rate of any green plant.
Standard air contains CO2 at a rate of around 200-400 ppm, by increasing the CO2 levels to around 1400ppm, you can potentially increase your yield by 30%!
The process of photosynthesis combines CO2 and water to form sugars and free oxygen. So CO2 plays a crucial role in energy production in plants.
What is the point of using CO2?
By increasing the CO2 levels in your grow room, the plant can more accessibly create energy and more complex plant parts such as carbohydrates, amino acids, protein, cellulose, leaves, roots, branches, and flowers.
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As the airflow in a contained grow room is limited, plants can waste the CO2 and cause slow plant development.
Carbon dioxide is an essential element for the photosynthesis process and can be somewhat ignored by newer producers.
You can ignore the importance of CO2 because of being odorless, invisible, and only a small fraction of our atmosphere.
Additionally, its roles may be thoroughly understood by fresh gardeners. CO2 often doesn’t get the same attention as nutrients, lights, and other plant-growth factors.
The use of CO2 enrichment to raise yields, quality, and growth rates under hydroponic production.
And it is widely used in commercial greenhouse horticulture and has an even greater potential in enclosed growing spaces.
While simply pumping in some additional CO2 may seem like an outspoken option, the use of this technology is a little more complex if its potential is to be maximized.
Plant tissue contains an average of 45% carbon that comes entirely from CO2. By boosting CO2 levels surrounding the leaf surface.
Above ambient levels, the rate of photosynthesis increases up until the point where some other factor, such as the speed at which plant enzymes will work, is reached.
Essentially, the transfer of CO2 from the surrounding air to the reaction centers in the leaf chloroplasts depends both on:
The concentration difference between the air and these sites,
And the intervening biochemical resistance in various leaf tissues.
This indicates that while CO2 enhancement will increase photosynthesis, there reaches a point where further increases will not occur, and plant damage becomes a possibility.
Learning this optimal level of CO2 enrichment for a particular plant or stage of growth is where the utilization of CO2 requires some careful thought.
Carbon dioxide enhancement has become more common in recent years, especially with hydroponic growers using a range of low- and high-tech options to boost CO2 levels.
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The most common methods of generating CO2 include burning hydrocarbon fuels and the use of compressed, bottled CO2.
Smaller growers with limited growing space can use dry ice (solid, very cold CO2) which releases CO2 as it “melts” under warm conditions.
Carbon dioxide enrichment is a worthwhile tool for indoor and greenhouse farmers.
It is well proven in a wide range of crop species to increase growth rates and yields.
However, as with most high-tech systems, it requires monitoring, care detail, and careful consideration of the effect on biochemical processes.
If CO2 is to be used at maximum performance, correct rates of treatment, adjustments to light and temperature, the timing of enrichment, and consequences of CO2 acclimation all need consideration.