Project: Single Cell Proteins from Biorefinaries and Geothermal Power Plants as protein source for aquatic animals

The aim of this project is to use the chemical energy from two types of polluting waste streams and turn them into valuable products. These waste streams are on one hand geothermal exhaust gases (GEOGAS) that are released from geothermal power plants and on the other hand, organic chemicals found in wood processing biorefineries that use the sulfite process for cellulose fiber production (REFINE). By growing the suitable microorganisms on the chemicals in these waste streams, they can be turned into biomass or Single Cell Proteins (SCP) that are suitable as protein-rich components in fish feed._x000D__x000D_Today there is an increasing shortage of available high quality proteins for feed, particularly in aquaculture. More than half of all consumption of aquatic species is now produced by aquaculture, currently at the level of 60 million tons. Aquaculture production has grown about 9% annually since 1990 and is expected to continue to grow at the same pace for the next decade at least. Aquaculture production will double in the next 12-15 years, and so will the need for protein in aquafeed. _x000D__x000D_The annual fish meal production has been 6-7 million tons for the last 30 years. In 2008 about half of all fish meal produced was used in aquafeed. Fishmeal is the preferred protein source for many aquaculture species, since it is highly digestible, contains the essential amino acids and is correctly balanced for most species, including juveniles. This situation has led to the situation that the demand for fishmeal has already exceeded supply and prices have been rising steadily for the last 5 years and are now 2-3 times the prices in 2005. The average price of fishmeal is now (March 2011, 67% protein) about $1.660 per metric ton and rising. Fishmeal available to aquaculture will fall short of demand by about 3 million tonnes, as soon as 2012. This shortage must therefore be met by alternative protein sources that can give similar results when used in aquafeeds. This is no easy task, since most available protein sources are of plant origin and cannot directly replace fishmeal for various reasons. _x000D__x000D_In Iceland and Sweden, there are many sites where large amounts of GEOGAS and cellulosic waste streams respectively, are produced. In addition to the above waste streams, the corresponding industrial sites also produce large amount of waste hot water, at 30-60°C, or in the range of 400-5000 L/sec. In addition to labor, the cost of feed and energy for COtaining optimal growth temperatures, are the two CO cost items in commercial aquaculture today. There is a growing interest both in Iceland and Sweden, to produce more fish, in particular Arctic Char with optimal growth temperature of 12°C and also warm-water species, such as tilapia or barramundi that grow best at 30°C. The particular advantage of the latter species is their fast growth and broader range of feed types that they can use. The availability of good quality warm water would be an advantage for Arctic Char farming but a necessity for tilapia and barramundi farming. The local conditions of SCP and warm water availability would there fore be a definite advantage._x000D_In this project three SME companies, Saebyli and Prokatin in Iceland and Processum Biorefinery Iniativ in Sweden together with the R&D company Matis in Iceland plan to develop the methods and and technology for the production of SCP and its use as feed for arctic char and tilapia as model species. _x000D_Based on the available waste streams, several thousand tonnes of SCP can be produced at a very favourable price compared to the current price and quality of fish meal._x000D__x000D_Saebyli ehf aims at warm water aquaculture using geothermal energy in Iceland. The company intends to produce high end products both for Asian and European Market. _x000D_Prokatin is a young R&D company which is developing technique to remove H2S from geothermal gas and use it for the production of SCP with the help of extremophiles. _x000D_Processum Biorefinery Initiativ AB is a research and development company that focus on the development of new biorefinery processes and products from wood and energy crops. They have a broad technical expertise in the areas of biotechnology, chemistry, energy technology, and process engineering. Their R&D work is often performed in collaboration with Universities, other companies or local government.

Acronym Microfeed (Reference Number: 6611)
Duration 01/08/2011 - 30/12/2013
Project Topic Single Cell Proteins (SCP) from GeoGas (geothermal energy procution ) and SCP from softwood cellulose biorefinary will be produced and pilot formulations made for aquafeed using a mixture of SCP and available plant proteins. 12 different formulations will be tested in feeding trials for fish
Project Results
(after finalisation)
The project was successful in cultivating single cell proteins (SCP) from different residual streams from wood-based biorefinery. It was also succsessful in the production of SCP from geogas (P Prokatin). _x000D_Four different microorganism were tested on residual streams from wood-based biorefinery and best results gave P. variotii grown on SSL-permeate and F. venenatum grown on fiber sludge hydrolysate. One type of SCP was obtained from geogas recovery process and produced on pilot scale. _x000D__x000D_Feed formulatons were made from the SCP meal and tried in feed trials for fish (tilapia). During the trial period (28 days), the fish increased their weight up to tenfold. The specific growth rate (SGR, %/day) was 8.50, 8.84, 8.60, 8.51, and 8.30 for the control, P. variotii 38% sub., P. variotii 66% sub., F. venenatum 39% sub., and F. venenatum 68% sub., respectively. The average fish growth per fish tank was similar to or better than the control. The fishes fed with P. variotii 66% sub. resulted in about 12% larger growth than the control. The largest growth per fish was noted for the fishes fed with P. variotii 38% sub. The mortality was normal and not related to the dietary treatments. In general, the growth of the control and the groups getting fungal biomass was good but the growth of the fish getting Geoprotein was inferior. The value of the fungal product protein seems to be equal to that of fish meal. However the value of the Geoprotein seems to be overestimated in the feed formulation. This could be due to overestimation of the protein content due to high inclusion of non-protein nitrogen or content of some anti-nutritional factors as has be seen in other trial. The results of the fungal product protein from wood-based biorefinery streams are very good and the next step will be feasibility of upscaling and production on production scale.
Network Eurostars
Call Eurostars Cut-Off 6

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
4 Matis ohf Partner Iceland
4 Prokatin ehf Partner Iceland
4 Sæbýli ehf Partner Iceland
4 Processum Biorefinery Initiative AB Coordinator Sweden