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Verification and upscaling of microbial biomass production by anaerobic respiration

Alternative title: Verifisering og oppskalering av produksjon av mikrobiell biomasse ved anaerob respirasjon.

Awarded: NOK 5.0 mill.

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Project Period:

2022 - 2025

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The way we produce food is about to change profoundly as micro-organisms are domesticated to produce single cell proteins (SCP) in large scale fermenters. Such microbial biomass production in submerged cultures has already been implemented for production of food and feed, and new processes utilizing autotrophic organisms growing on hydrogen is underway. So far, SCP production has been based on aerobic respiration, and the provision of O2 to these systems is a significant cost and a bottleneck which limits the rate of biomass production. This limitation can be circumvented by ANAPRO, a newly patented method for production of microbial biomass using NO3- instead of O2 to sustain anaerobic respiration. ANAPRO will allow much higher production rate per volume than aerobic cultivation since acids can be provided at any rate desired. The VERIAN project will also develop, together with industrial partners, a new technology for onsite production of =5M acids, to a much lower price than commercially available. The VERIAN project will develop a proof-of-concept technology for producing microbial biomass from glucose syrup produced by enzymatic hydrolysis of wood, previously used for producing yeast. The VERIAN project opens an avenue towards a much needed efficient and sustainable SCP-production for the Norwegian aquaculture industry, in vitro meat production, and a new market for this novel technology.

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