CO2 Bag Product Development

The development of our unique CO2 bags was in direct response to a perceived need in the marketplace for a more cost-efficient, long-lasting and consistent natural source of growth-inducing CO2 designed for indoor cultivation. There is a rapidly growing public awareness and desire for natural sustainable solutions to everyday problems. It is important, however, that if these alternative technologies are to be viable in the long term they are consistent and deliver results as advertised. A review of currently marketed merchandise in the same category yielded products of variable quality and performance. We felt that we could leverage our considerable experience and production capability in manufacturing microbials to deliver a superior product to the consumer.

The first step in our development program was a thorough performance evaluation of currently marketed competitive products to form a baseline for further improvement. This entailed the measurement of CO2 output in a defined space over time. We used the data collected from these tests to approach the most important questions of all: what attributes of a CO2 bag are most important to the grower? We decided that we wanted to keep our product natural, reducing our potential environmental impact as much as possible. We also knew that we wanted our bags to last a long time: if you are constantly having to switch out your bag, it hardly seems worth the effort. Finally, we wanted our bags to be consistent, always producing as much CO2 for as long as possible. With these goals in mind, we set to work.

Various combinations of substrate and mycelium cultures were tested, looking for the optimum combination of fungal species and substrate formulation. Different species of Fungi have different nutritional requirements, consequently their growth response to different substrates can be significant as is demonstrated in the picture below. We typically use a pre-screen plate assay to select potentially viable candidates from the numerous tested for future development.

Picture 1: Pre-Screen Response of Seven Fungal Species (S 1-7) on Plate Media Made from Different Formulations of Raw Materials (RM 1-6).

picture of fungal species

Small test batches of the most promising microbe/substrate combinations selected from the pre-screen were produced and bagged in our Sterile Manufacturing Pilot Facility. Using temperature-controlled chambers to model a greenhouse environment, we were able to evaluate numerous replicates of different bagged species of fungal mycelium and bacteria through our sterile system to identify which provided the perfect balance of prolonged growth and excellent, consistent CO2 production. This was a critical step in our process: determining the ideal strain/substrate formulation, was absolutely essential to maximizing product efficiency.

Some of the complexities of the research can be demonstrated in Graph 1 and Graph 2 shown below.

Graph 1 illustrates the significant differences in CO2output from different species of fungi on the same formulation;

Graph 1 - CO2 Output from Different Species over Time Grown On the Same Substrate Formulation.

graph of co2 output

species chart for graph 1

* Species selected

Graph 2 demonstrates the response of a single species of fungi grown on different formulations (R) as measured by CO2 output.

Graph 2 - CO2 Output from a Single Fungal Species over Time Grown On the Different Substrate Formulation.

formula-co2 graph

chart for formula graph

Subsequent to the selection of the ideal organism and substrate combination, we went to work locating a bag that would allow maximum CO2 dispersal while protecting and enhancing the growth of the mycelium inside. Numerous designs were tested from various sources. The performance of the bag is inherently attributable to the design and size of the filter. It was not unexpected, therefore, to see substantial differences not only in the way the organism visually colonized the substrate (Picture 2) but also in CO2 output shown in Graph 3.

Picture 2: Colonization Response of a Single Fungal/Substrate Combination in 3 Different Bag Filter Types.

3 co2 bags with different filters

Graph 3 - CO2 Output over Time from a Single Fungal/Substrate Combination in 3 Different Bag Filter Types.

co2 filter output

chart for flite rmaterial graph

*Filter Material selected

Further Refinements were made once the best Bag was identified. We worked in closely with the Bag manufacturer to further optimize the design and size of the filter. Prototypes were made and tested in our Facility. The results of which are presented below in Graph 4.

Graph 4 - CO2 Output over Time from a Single Fungal/Substrate Combination in a Single Bag Type with 5 Different Filter Widths.

width of the selected filter graph

chart for filter material graph

* Selected Width of the Filter

The data generated from our tests provided the basis of our bag design. Our unique opaque resin protects the mycelium from exposure to too much light, while the wide filter allows CO2 and oxygen to transfer at a controlled rate as a result of its carefully engineered material. The porosity, placement, and perforation of the plastic behind the filter maximize gas exchange while minimizing the risk of contamination.

As members of a research community, we are constantly working to improve on our methods and our final product. Our stringent production methods, combined with months of intense study and development, help us to provide you with CO2 bags that are the longest-lasting, best-producing, and most consistent available today. Our team is dedicated to testing every possible combination in their effort to find the very best materials for our bags, and you can rest assured that the quality of our product will only improve.

To learn more about our exclusive technology and how easy to use our sustainable and eco-friendly product is, visit our FAQs and Resources pages, or contact us today!