Startup turning recycled carbon into animal feed edges closer to scale-up

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/Devita ayu Silvianingtyas
© GettyImages/Devita ayu Silvianingtyas

Related tags carbon Single cell protein sustainable gas fermentation

Single cell protein (SCP) innovator, Deep Branch, has been awarded €2.5m (US$2.93m) from an accelerator fund to help shift it towards industrial scale production and get volumes of its protein feed, Proton, out for testing purposes.

A carbon recycling company, Deep Branch, which was only founded in 2018, managed to secure the investment from the Horizon 2020 backed European Innovation Council (EIC) Accelerator fund, which is an initiative set up to support high-risk, high-potential SEMs and innovators. 

Deep Branch, which uses microorganisms to convert CO2 into high-quality products, was one of only two UK companies to be shortlisted for the EIC program.

The funding will go towards building a new facility at the Netherlands-based, Brightlands Chemelot Campus, a hub for circular chemistry and chemical processes.

Peter Rowe, CEO, Deep Branch, says setting up the pilot plant at that Dutch site represents an important next step in ensuring Proton meets the requirements of animal feed composition, digestibility and performance trials by industry players.

“We’ll be undertaking further trials with BioMar and AB Agri, two leading animal feed companies that support the salmon and poultry farming industries. Thanks to the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation support, we can expand our production capacity to match the volumes that feed producers need to run these trials.”

Brightlands Chemelot Campus is the ideal location for Deep Branch’s scale-up plant, he adds.

“There is a clear alignment between our goals and the facility’s overall ambitions for CO2 recycling and sustainable hydrogen use. The industrial site gives us the ability to scale up quickly and has room for a large-scale production facility as well as the raw materials to create Proton.” 

He told us that with Chemelot being one Europe's largest chemical production sites, multiple entities there are suited to partnering Deep Branch in a joint venture.

Bert Kip, CEO of the Brightlands Chemelot Campus, says that Deep Branch’s production concept matches the hub’s sustainability profile. “It is the first organization at this campus that is active in gas fermentation. This is another area where we can develop a leading position.” 

Deep Branch says its technology has already been proven on a smaller scale, through its collaboration with the UK based renewable power company, Drax, as well as a consortium of industry leading partners​.

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