BP Invests in Technology to Make Livestock Food from Natural Gas

Published Jul 1, 2019 6:44 PM by The Maritime Executive

BP Ventures has made an investment of $30 million in Calysta, Inc., an alternative protein producer, that will use BP’s natural gas to produce protein for fish, livestock and pet food.

Calysta’s proprietary gas fermentation technology produces FeedKind® protein, a sustainable feedstock that can be used instead of fishmeal or soy protein concentrate. The company hopes it has the potential to help meet the growing demand for feed in the aquaculture and wider agriculture markets without some of the environmental impacts of current sourcing methods.

During the FeedKind process, a naturally occurring bacteria is grown in a proprietary fermenter using methane as its carbon and energy source. This creates a single cell protein that is harvested and dried prior to being pelletized. The natural fermentation process is similar to the production of yeast for bread. 

Calysta’s fermentation process uses no arable land and very little water and does not compete with the human food chain. Calysta’s micro-organisms are a naturally occurring component of healthy soils worldwide. FeedKind has no impact on the flavor or texture profile of seafood or animals fed FeedKind. 

In aquaculture, Calysta’s initial market opportunity, FeedKind is seen as a key enabler for growth by reducing reliance on conventional sources of proteins. The global aquaculture market is expected to grow up to 25 percent by 2025, and it is hoped the new feed will help combat over-fishing in response to the projected growth. 

As the global population grows from seven billion in 2010 to a projected 9.8 billion in 2050, and incomes grow across the developing world, overall food demand is on course to increase by more than 50 percent, and demand for animal-based foods by nearly 70 percent. FeedKind protein can help achieve a sustainable food future by meeting the growing demands for food while avoiding deforestation and allowing the restoration of abandoned and unproductive land.

BP’s investment will enable Calysta to expand production of its FeedKind protein and support its ambition for a global rollout. FeedKind protein is already being produced from the company’s Market Introduction Facility (MIF) in Teesside, England.