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Tuesday, 12 December 2017 11:52

Chemical engineers praise new Teesside production of sustainable fishmeal

An environmentally friendly fish feed produced in north east England from gas-eating bacteria has been given an award by the Institution of Chemical Engineers, and promises to reduce pressure on both small species seafish stocks and land use.

Calysta and two partners have been awarded the 2017 IChemE Global Team Award for excellence at Calysta's UK production facility located at the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) in Teesside. The annual IChemE awards this year attracted more than 140 entries from 21 countries.

calysta plantCalysta, the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) and Otto Simon Ltd received the award for design, construction and successful launch of Calysta's new-to-market facility in Teesside. The plant uses Calysta's gas-phase fermentation process to produce FeedKind® protein, a feed-quality protein for use in fish and livestock feed.

Unlike other conventional fish feed ingredients, which can deplete the ocean ecosystem of small species such as Peruian Anchovies, FeedKind protein is manufactured on land in a production facility. It also has a significantly longer shelf life than typical fishmeal alternatives.

The single cell protein product is formed during the fermentation of methanotrophic microorganisms (Methylococcus capsulatus (Bath)), with small amounts of scavenger microorganisms to assist in culture stability (Alca ligenes acidovorans, Bacillus brevis and Bacillus firmus). Natural gas or other methane source is pumped through a specialised fermenter, and the microorganisms metabolise the gas as their sole source of energy, producing a high-protein biomass.

Wet product is extracted from the fermenter and dried, before being pelletised and packaged for shipping. Typically the fermenter will run for seven weeks continuously, before requiring three days of
cleaning. The cycle will then repeat.

John McGagh, IChemE's president, said: "IChemE's Team Award is important because it celebrates collaboration and diversity of thinking – something that is integral to robust, sustainable outcomes that benefit society.

calysta award"Calysta UK, the Centre for Process Innovation and Otto Simon have proved this through their winning project. They have delivered a plant with environmental and ecological impact at the forefront of the planning process, and delivered a facility which will ultimately tackle one of the biggest issues facing the population – food security."

Graham Aylen, Calysta Vice President of Capital Projects, said: "Thanks to excellent engineering collaboration from the project team, the plant was delivered against a fast-tracked construction programme with zero injuries. Samples have been distributed worldwide for feeding trials, marking a significant step towards engineering a sustainable food source for the growing global population."

Kris Wadrop, Platform Director for the Industrial Biotechnology and Biorefining business in CPI, commented: "Combining a motivated and passionate customer with a knowledgeable multi-disciplinary team of scientists and engineers proved an outstanding combination for this project."

Calysta has put manufacturing processes in place at Teesside resulting from more than 10 years of research and development. In May, Calysta announced successful production of the first four metric tons of FeedKind protein from the facility, and to date the Teesside plant has produced over 10 metric tons.

The facility has recently completed a 12-week continuous run, and has performed to target metrics of yield, productivity and quality.

FeedKind protein is a range of traceable feed ingredients for fish, livestock and pets. It is a non-animal source of protein approved for sale and use in the EU and is being developed to help meet the world's growing demand for food.

LINKS
Calysta
Carbon Trust assessment of environmental impact of FeedKind
Institution of Chemical Engineers