March 26, 2021

UK startup to convert carbon dioxide to protein for feed, raises US$9.4 million in funding



UK startup Deep Branch, which transforms carbon dioxide into protein to be used for animal feed, has raised €8 million (US$9.4 million) in funding.


The protein created by the company will rely on recycling carbon from industrial emitters. The waste gas will need to go through a chemical purification process to separate the carbon dioxide from other gases before it can be used to produce protein.


"There are big sustainability drawbacks from the proteins we currently use to produce animal products like salmon fillets and chicken drumsticks," said Deep Branch's co-founder, Peter Rowe. "…but we can produce a high-quality protein without requiring any arable land or fish."


Rowe said animal producers faced increased competition for feedstocks such as soy and fishmeal and that Deep Branch's protein, which is being produced in Europe, offered a more secure food source less affected by geopolitics, seasonality or climate. He added that the company's protein feed was a more sustainable alternative to soy or fishmeal.


According to Rowe, Deep Branch's protein would be easier to scale up and produce at lower cost, if it can locate next to industrial plants capturing carbon. The company will start commercial trials of its feed on chickens and salmon by the summer.


So far, Deep Branch has attracted support from leading animal feed companies BioMar and AB Agri, and is close to agreeing to build its first commercial production facility in Norway, where it hopes to supply the country's aquaculture sector.


- The Guardian