Displacing fishmeal with protein derived from stranded methane

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Sahar Head El Abbadi, Evan David Sherwin , Adam R Brandt , Stephen P. Luby, Craig S. Criddle


Methane emitted and flared from industrial sources across the United States is a major contributor to global climate change. Methanotrophic bacteria can transform this methane into useful protein-rich biomass for animal feed. In the rapidly growing aquaculture industry, this can replace ocean-caught fishmeal, reducing demands on over-harvested fisheries. Here, we analyze the economic potential of producing methanotrophic microbial protein from stranded methane produced at wastewater treatment plants, landfills, and oil and gas facilities. Our results show that current technology can enable production equivalent to 14% of the global fishmeal market at prices at or below the current cost of fishmeal of roughly $1,600 per metric ton. Achievable cost reductions, e.g. reduced cooling or labor requirements, could allow stranded methane from the US alone to displace the entire global fishmeal market.




Bioresource and Agricultural Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Engineering, Environmental Engineering


methane, single cell protein, methanotroph, fishmeal


Published: 2021-02-23 05:41

Last Updated: 2021-11-22 10:59

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CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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