NOOSA, Australia–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#biomanufacturing—Provectus Algae (Provectus) has announced its entry into livestock methane reduction with its first 30,000 L demonstration plant commissioned in October to scale up Asparagopsis feed additives. This move signals a maturation of Provectus Algae’s operations as the company moves its lead product for the animal feed sector from pilot to large-scale production.
Provectus Algae develops biomanufacturing approaches using carbon-capturing algae. Its end-to-end technology platform can produce a wide range of photosynthetic algae, including species traditionally difficult to grow. Though originally developed for microalgae, this program also demonstrates the platform’s ability to produce challenging macroalgae species.
Methane, the second most abundant anthropogenic greenhouse gas, is over 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide at trapping atmospheric heat. Ruminant methanogenesis represents a key battleground for meeting projected climate goals, as reinforced by the UN Global Methane Pledge.
Discovered and patented by Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), James Cook University, and FutureFeed, Asparagopsis has been touted as a leading candidate for cutting livestock methane emissions. Though research over the past decade for the red algae has shown clear success in reducing enteric methane emissions by up to 95%, commercial operations have struggled to consistently produce Asparagopsis at scale. These efforts cite the algae’s slow growth in conventional aquaculture and ocean farming systems and fluctuations in bioactive compound concentrations as major hurdles to reaching scale and price parity with synthetic alternatives. Despite a perceived price barrier to entry for such products below 50 cents per daily dose, Asparagopsis companies have struggled to deliver below $1 per dose.
Using Precision Photosynthesis™, the cornerstone of the company’s technology stack, Provectus Algae can produce these algae faster while consistently controlling the expression of bioactive compounds, leading to a step-change in the cost of goods.
“Given that the agricultural industry typically operates on tight margins, the reality is that without offering a viable product at a low cost per dose, it will be difficult for farmers to adopt,” says Nusqe Spanton, founder and CEO of Provectus Algae. “We are now confident that our approach can deliver scalable production at less than 50 cents per dose and enable wider adoption of high-efficacy bio-based methane-reducing feed additives at costs competitive with existing synthetic alternatives.”
With Provectus Algae’s scalable, modular, closed production system, Asparagopsis can be grown anywhere in the world. Thus, production can occur near farms to minimize shipping costs, cut carbon footprints, and reduce efficacy loss from long-term storage and transportation.
With backing from key sustainability leaders like Hitachi Ventures and CJ Cheiljedang, Provectus sees livestock methane reduction as an ideal application for its technologies. Provectus is scaling the production of Asparagopsis from its 10 kL pilot operation to its newly commissioned 30 kL demonstration plant. The facility provides the capacity to produce >700 doses per day, which could ultimately remove over 4 metric tons of CO2 equivalent enteric emissions every day. Provectus Algae also plans to expand its demonstration plant to 160 kL and begin the construction of a new large-scale facility in 2024. In total, Provectus aims to supply doses to over 250,000 animals in 2025 and reduce enteric emissions by over 500,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalent annually.
“Provectus Algae’s Asaparagopis bioproduction approach is a major proof point in their photosynthetic bioprocess that can bring tangible impact to a global problem while transforming the sustainable biomanufacturing landscape,” says Pete Bastien, Partner at Hitachi Ventures.
ABOUT PROVECTUS ALGAE
Provectus Algae programs algae to make better products more sustainably. Using a proprietary process called Precision Photosynthesis™, Provectus can convert light and air into naturally sustainable specialty products for food, personal care, and agriculture applications. The company’s platform utilizes automated closed-loop manufacturing and is the first of its kind, offering a new, cost-effective, and sustainable solution for producing photosynthetic aquatic organisms at industrial scales. To learn more, please visit https://provectusalgae.com.
Nusqe Spanton, Founder & CEO