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First commercial-scale gas fermenter in U.S. to break ground

By Scott Jenkins |

Calysta[/caption] The first commercial-scale, natural-gas-fermentation facility in the U.S. will break ground by the end of 2016, according to Alan Shaw, CEO of Calysta Inc. (Menlo Park, Calif.; www.calysta.com). In a collaboration with agricultural giant Cargill Inc. (Minneapolis, Minn.; www.cargill.com), Calysta plans to build the facility in the U.S. to take advantage of inexpensive natural gas. The plant will eventually produce FeedKind Aqua protein, a sustainable and cost-competitive fish feed protein for use in aquaculture applications (photo). FeedKind, designed as a sustainable alternative to replace fishmeal protein, will be produced from natural gas using strains of naturally occurring methanotrophs (methane-consuming bacteria) that were developed by Calysta to convert natural gas into high-protein biomass. The conversion process will employ a closed-loop reactor system for gas fermentation originally developed by Statoil ASA (Stavanger, Norway; www.statoil.com). The closed-loop reactor is designed to pressurize the gas within the fermentation media, speeding its dissolution into the liquid. Calysta has previously demonstrated its methane-to-lactic-acid gas-fermentation process at smaller scales (see Chem. Eng., August…
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