Calysta acquires BioProtein; fermenting natural gas to livestock feed
21 May 2014
Calysta Energy, Inc., a company using methane as a feedstock for engineered organisms to produce liquid hydrocarbon fuels and high value chemicals that are cost-effective, scalable and reduce environmental impact (earlier post), has acquired acquired BioProtein A/S. Combining its proprietary BioGPS technology platform with technology from BioProtein, Calysta intends to produce proteins and other key ingredients of high nutritional value through the fermentation of methane, the primary component of natural gas.
Through this acquisition, Calysta is entering the rapidly growing $370-billion nutritional market for fish and livestock feed and feed additives. The BioProtein technology is the only commercial scale process available to directly convert natural gas into biological products.
BioProtein, the protein feed produced using BioProtein’s technology, is approved for sale and has been commercially marketed in the European Union.
These nutrients can be used to improve the quality and sustainability of commercial fish and animal feed. In particular, the high-quality protein generated by Calysta’s process can serve as a direct replacement for fish meal, a major component of many commercial livestock feeds. Fish meal is currently produced from wild, commercially caught fish, adding unsustainable pressure to ocean ecosystems.
With this acquisition, Calysta intends to expand our methane conversion portfolio into a new high growth market, significantly accelerating market introduction of products based on our combined technology. Demand is strong in the commercial fish and agriculture market for new sustainable protein sources. BioProtein’s expertise in process technology and nutrition metabolism in animal health complements Calysta’s broad capabilities in synthetic biology and biocatalysis for development of methane as a new biological feedstock.—Alan Shaw, Ph.D., Chairman, President and CEO
Beyond providing a sustainable replacement for fish meal that does not compete with any human food sources, Calysta’s technology also provides a direct route to key vitamins and other health promoting compounds for animal feed.
Carbohydrates, amino acids, lipids and other vitamins can be produced from methane, as well as other key compounds to improve the health and quality of livestock while reducing the need for antibiotics or hormones. Calysta expects to evaluate construction of a manufacturing facility in the United States.
To reflect the new multi-industry focus, Calysta Energy, Inc. is changing its name to Calysta, Inc. The new company will have two primary business units.
Calysta Energy will continue the current programs in development of its Biological Gas-to-Liquids and Biological Gas-to-Chemicals technologies using methane as a feedstock for the production of fuels and chemicals.
Calysta Nutrition will focus on the development of a range of nutritional products from methane.
Alan Shaw, Ph.D., currently Calysta’s Chairman, President and CEO, will continue in those roles in the new entity. Both companies are privately held. Further terms were not disclosed.
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