UK firm turning industrial CO2 into fish food secures €2.5m boost

Deep Branch secures backing to build new facility in Netherlands dedicated to processing carbon emissions into alternative protein sources

Work to scale-up production of a protein animal feed aimed at transforming the aquaculture industry has received a boost this week, with UK biotech company Deep Branch having secured €2.5m funding from the Europe Innovation Council (EIC).

Deep Branch’s innovative process turns industrial carbon emissions into protein sources for animal feed, using microbes to convert CO2 into a new type of single-cell protein it has named ‘Proton’.

The resulting low carbon animal feed has a nutritional profile which Deep Branch claims is comparable to fishmeal, providing a protein source for aquafeed that can be produced all year round in order to reduce the impact of seasonal fluctuations in price or yield. The company claims the innovation holds the potential to cut CO2 from the animal feed production process by 90 per cent.

The EIC funding will go towards building a new facility dedicated to the process at the Netherlands-based Brightlands Chemelot Campus, the firm said, which it expects to be operational in spring next year. The facility is designed to help the firm to scale-up production and testing of the protein, according to the firm.

It also complements the firm’s existing project dubbed ‘REACT-FIRST’ which – funded by Innovate UK – brings together partners from UK industry and academia to gather data about the cost, digestibility, nutritional quality and carbon footprint of Proton, it said.

“In the UK, and in Europe, poultry

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