A British company which has developed technology that can turn CO2 emissions into sustainable animal feed has raised £2.2m in new funding.
Nottingham-headquartered Deep Branch is hoping to develop eco-friendly animal feed through recycling industrial emissions and waste CO2 to develop protein that can be fed to livestock.
The start-up received the backing from the European Innovation Council and will use the funding to open a new facility in the Netherlands.
Deep Branch’s protein source, named Proton, will now enter bulk production so that it can be tested by feed producers BioMar and AB Agri.
The business uses microbes to convert CO2 from industrial emissions into single-cell proteins. Animal feed produced from the protein could be used in the future to feed poultry and farmed fish such as salmon.
Peter Rowe, the chief executive of Deep Branch, said: "In the UK, and in Europe, poultry and farmed fish are usually fed on fishmeal and soy, which is mainly imported from South America and has a huge environmental impact.”
“We are developing a new, sustainable way of producing animal feed, which reduces CO2 emissions by more than 90pc, compared to the currently used protein sources,” he added.
The business is part of a series of companies hoping to convert CO2 emissions into edible protein.
Finland-headquartered Solar Foods hopes to see its wheat flour made from CO2 on supermarket shelves in 2021. The business plans to produce 50 million meals per year using its eco-friendly protein.
The UK has become a leading hub for food technology businesses, with start-ups such as THIS and Higher Steaks producing lab-grown, artificial meat which could help to dramatically reduce the carbon footprint of meat production.