New carbon dioxide ventilators could turn fumes into fertilizer to bring vegetable patches to high-rise rooftops, suggests a new study. It wasn’t just suggested. The study included an experiment that found spinach by the new air vents grew four times larger than the other plants.

The breakthrough is a promising development for healthier city life, scientists say. Scientists at Boston University created new technology that turned carbon dioxide (CO2) pumped from building air vents into fertilizer to improve the challenging plant-growing conditions for rooftop plant life.

Rooftop vegetable gardens—big ones even—can be found in cities around the world, but they’re mostly hydroponic systems, receiving nutrients and water via a special mist channeled through tubes.

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