• 6
    Harnessing biogas to cultivate single-cell protein
    4 months agoopen1
    Harnessing biogas to cultivate single-cell protein (SCP) for animal feed offers a sustainable solution to rising protein demand and environmental degradation. Derived from the anaerobic digestion (AD) of organic waste, biogas, primarily methane and carbon dioxide, provides a renewable energy source. By utilizing methane oxidizing bacteria (MOB) and hydrogen oxidizing bacteria (HOB) to convert biogas into SCP, we repurpose waste into valuable protein sources without competing with food production or requiring additional land and water resources, aligning with the urgent need for a protein transition in food systems. Integration of MOB and HOB allows efficient utilization of methane and carbon dioxide, fostering a circular economy model. Advancements in cultivation modes and reactor design promise increased productivity and quality, enabling scalable, cost-competitive production. SCP, with protein content of up to 70% and high in essential amino acids, offers a solution to the global food crisis while promoting ecosystem resilience. By replacing fossil-based resources in current MOB-based SCP processes with biogenically sourced biogas, companies can enhance sustainability credentials and reduce reliance on finite fossil fuels. Biogas-derived SCP production systems could be retrofitted to existing biogas plants (of which there are over 18,000 in the EU alone). As AD is a biological process (bacterial), biogas plants are already equipped to manage the sustainable cultivation of bacteria, including employing people trained in biochemistry, and the routine use of labs (sometime on-site) for biological and chemical testing. Having been in the biogas sector since 2013, I feel I have a good understanding of the challenges and potential benefits from this idea.  My own (unverified) calculations suggest that 1,000m3 of biogas could produce an income of up to €1,700 from protein (pricing equivalent to fishmeal), versus approx. €180 income from electricity generation.
  • 3
    Value Proposition (1): Bioenergy | Independency | Circular Approach
    4 months agoopen1
    In many ways we are determined by others. It is not easy to bring climate change to the people. Large international oil and gas companies with their pipelines and networks sometimes leave us no choice. Change is prevented and we are dependent in many ways. What if we could free ourselves from this and produce the resources we need ourselves in such a way that they reduce our CO2 emissions compared to previous use? For example, we could convert bioenergy into electrical energy in a decentralised manner on site, where it is really needed. This is what the start-up me.energy is already doing with bioethanol, for example, to generate off-grid electricity for the e-fleet in company car parks. For critics, the conversion of bioethanol into electricity is an unnecessary step or not efficient at all. It is true that energy is lost through the additional conversion and the overall efficiency decreases. For bioenergy advocates, however, bioenergy is not only an opportunity to become independent, but also to close the cycle of biowaste. Bioenergy can potentially be suitable for many other uses and help to increase the mass conversion. Every little helps to reduce emissions compared to burning fossil fuels.
  • 7
    Green Synthetic Methanol & Methanol as an infrastructure adaptor for Hydrogen
    4 months agoopen0
    The demand for petrochemicals is constantly increasing, and the demand for chemical fuels will continue to grow as long as businesses, economies and nations develop and grow. Fossil fuel prices are increasing, becoming more volatile, more unreliable, more socially unacceptable and causing increased political tensions. Even with continuing electrification, we will still depend heavily on chemical vectors (batteries, e-fuels, e-petrochemicals/petro-products). Given fossil fuels will have to be phased out, what is the drop-in replacement solution for fossil fuels? Can we overcome the issues and resultant failure of hydrogen adoption, while maintaining the advantages? Synthetic methanol, is a simple, liquid, infrastructure compatible, bio-compatible, energy dense vector for Hydrogen and is an elegant solution to this problem. Hydrogen created from renewable electrical energy sources, chemically compressed into methanol, becomes a drop-in replacement everywhere in the current fossil fuel infrastructure. Methanol can also be converted back into Hydrogen simply and safely just before the point of use, for example between a fuel tank and a fuel cell, turbine-boiler or furnace. Synthetic methanol thus can function as both an electrical storage medium, hydrogen storage medium and heat energy storage medium. Furthermore, methanol is a carbon sink and is one of the few energy vector candidates that removes CO2 from the environment. Synthetic methanol can also be converted to other hydrocarbons including gasoline and kerosene (jet) fuels, allowing a pivot to a phased introduction of carbon-neutral (or better) fuels.
  • 13
    Diapers to Sustainable Materials
    4 months agoopen5
    Diaper Dilemma: Every year, billions of baby diapers pile up, emitting over 3.3Mt of CO2e—enough to fill countless landfills. And every 60 seconds? A staggering 300,000+ diapers are tossed, wreaking havoc on our planet. With an ageing population, adult incontinence products are set to outpace infant diapers by 4-10x, presenting an even greater eco-challenge! Even reusable options fall short, only slightly reducing the environmental impact due to water and energy used in washing. It's high time for a sustainable solution! Our Sustainability Crusade: The idea? A cutting-edge recycling technique that breaks down Absorbent Hygiene Products (AHPs) into cellulose and a rich bounty of organic waste. This isn't just recycling; it's a sustainability revolution, turning diaper waste into algae cultivation gold. From Diapers to Dwellings: Imagine insulating homes with materials born from this eco-friendly process. The concept? Aerogels made from alginate and cellulose harvested from algae fed on recycled diaper waste. Alginate shines as a non-toxic, flame-retardant, biocompatible, and biodegradable wonder—perfect for creating greener homes. Beyond Insulation - Extended Applications: But why stop there? This technology opens doors to a world of possibilities - from biofuels, fertilisers, textiles, and pharmaceuticals. Ideally, we're not just addressing waste; we're reimagining resources.