NovoNutrients, a startup that aims to turn carbon dioxide into protein, has secured a $3 million technology and investment deal from Woodside Energy, one of Australia’s largest oil and gas companies. The funding will enable NovoNutrients to build a pilot-scale plant to test its thesis at scale.
The company relies on bacteria to convert carbon dioxide into protein. NovoNutrients has surveyed the scientific literature to find species that can use carbon dioxide in their metabolic pathways, allowing them to use the waste gas as energy. Its scientists have also discovered strains not otherwise known to science.
NovoNutrients’ CEO, David Tze, said that the company’s technology is about industrializing this naturally occurring metabolism. He believes that the company’s approach could help solve the problem of what to do with the carbon dioxide that has been pumped into the atmosphere over the last century and a half.
The idea of using carbon dioxide to create protein is not new. However, it has not been widely adopted because it is not yet economically viable. NovoNutrients believes that it can change that by using bacteria to create high-value protein products that can be sold to the aquaculture and animal feed industries.
The aquaculture industry, in particular, is growing rapidly and is expected to continue to do so in the coming years. However, it faces a major challenge in meeting the demand for fish feed. The industry currently relies on fishmeal, which is made from wild-caught fish. This is unsustainable, as it puts pressure on already depleted fish stocks.
NovoNutrients believes that its technology could help solve this problem by creating a sustainable source of protein for fish feed. The company’s protein products are made using carbon dioxide captured from industrial processes, such as power plants and cement factories.
The company’s approach has several advantages over other methods of using carbon dioxide. For one thing, it does not require large amounts of land or water, which are both in short supply in many parts of the world. It also does not require the use of fossil fuels, which are a major contributor to climate change.
NovoNutrients is not the only company working on using carbon dioxide to create protein. Other companies, such as Calysta and Deep Branch Biotechnology, are also developing similar technologies. However, NovoNutrients believes that its approach is unique because it uses bacteria to create protein products that are high in quality and can be sold at a competitive price.
The company’s pilot-scale plant will be located in California and is expected to be operational by the end of 2021. If successful, NovoNutrients plans to build a larger commercial-scale plant that could produce up to 1,000 metric tons of protein per year.
NovoNutrients’ technology has the potential to be a game-changer in the fight against climate change. By using carbon dioxide to create protein, the company is helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while also creating a sustainable source of protein for the aquaculture and animal feed industries. If successful, NovoNutrients could help to pave the way for a more sustainable future.