Displacing fishmeal with protein derived from stranded methane

This is a Preprint and has not been peer reviewed. This is version 7 of this Preprint.

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Authors

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

Abstract

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. A sensitivity analysis highlights technically and economically feasible cost reductions, e.g. reduced cooling or labor requirements, which could allow stranded methane from the US alone to satisfy global fishmeal demand.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.31223/X5PP5D

Subjects

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

Keywords

methane, single cell protein, methanotroph, fishmeal

Dates

Published: 2021-02-23 06:41

Last Updated: 2021-08-27 11:38

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License

CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

Additional Metadata

Conflict of interest statement:
None

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