Provectus Algae (Provectus) of Noosa, Australia, has announced its entry into livestock methane reduction with its first 30,000 L demonstration plant commissioned in October to scale up Asparagopsis feed additives. This move signals a maturation of Provectus Algae’s operations as the company moves its lead product for the animal feed sector from pilot to large-scale production.
Discovered and patented by Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), James Cook University, and FutureFeed, Asparagopsis has been touted as a leading candidate for cutting livestock methane emissions, and research over the past decade for the red algae has shown clear success in reducing enteric methane emissions by up to 95%.
Despite these results, observes Provectus, commercial operations have struggled to consistently produce Asparagopsis at scale and deliver it for below $1 per dose. These efforts cite the algae’s slow growth in conventional aquaculture and ocean farming systems and fluctuations in bioactive compound concentrations as major hurdles to reaching scale and price parity with synthetic alternatives.
Using the company’s Precision Photosynthesis™, Provectus Algae says they can produce these algae faster while consistently controlling the expression of bioactive compounds, leading to a step-change in the cost of goods. “Given that the agricultural industry typically operates on tight margins, the reality is that without offering a viable product at a low cost per dose, it will be difficult for farmers to adopt,” says Nusqe Spanton, founder and CEO of Provectus Algae.
“We are now confident that our approach can deliver scalable production at less than 50 cents per dose and enable wider adoption of high-efficacy bio-based methane-reducing feed additives at costs competitive with existing synthetic alternatives.”
Provectus Algae’s scalable, modular, closed production system allows Asparagopsis to be grown anywhere in the world. Production can occur near farms to minimize shipping costs, cut carbon footprints, and reduce efficacy loss from long-term storage and transportation.
With backing from key sustainability leaders including Hitachi Ventures and CJ Cheiljedang, Provectus sees livestock methane reduction as an ideal application for its technologies. Provectus is currently scaling the Asparagopsis production from its 10 kL pilot operation to its newly commissioned 30 kL demonstration plant. The facility provides the capacity to produce >700 doses per day, which could ultimately remove over 4 metric tons of CO2 equivalent enteric emissions daily.
Provectus plans to begin construction of a new large-scale facility in 2024 and expand its demonstration plant to 160 kL. In total, Provectus aims to supply doses to over 250,000 animals in 2025 and reduce enteric emissions by over 500,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalent annually.
“Provectus Algae’s Asparagopis bioproduction approach is a major proof point in their photosynthetic bioprocess that can bring tangible impact to a global problem while transforming the sustainable biomanufacturing landscape,” said Pete Bastien, a Partner at Hitachi Ventures.
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