Microbial protein offers a highly efficient and scalable method of protein production while mitigating the environmental impact associated with traditional protein sources such as livestock farming. We use a coupled two-stage bioprocess with acetate as a versatile intermediate molecule. Acetate is produced in a first bioreactor by utilizing acetogenic bacteria that naturally reduce carbon dioxide with hydrogen as an electron donor to acetate via the Wood-Ljungdahl pathway. The hydrogen can be provided from water electrolysis driven by renewable energy. The acetate platform opens access to aerobic fermentation with a broad group of microbial strains. Leveraging bioprocess optimization strategies and genetic engineering tools, we want to improve productivity and unlock an extraordinary array of products for tasty food applications. Next to microtiter plates and flasks, we investigate our processes in different-scale bioreactors. We employ economic analyses and thermodynamic predictions to assess the potential of our process. The research brings us closer to sustainable food production with potentially zero net carbon emissions in the future.
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