Current modes of agricultural protein production are
inefficient, generate large amounts of waste, have a high land and water
footprint, are energy intensive, and are ultimately unsustainable. Therefore,
new and lower-footprint modes to produce protein-rich feed or food ingredients
are needed. Microbial biomass can generate nutritive proteins – with quality
equal or exceeding those of traditional references like soy of fishmeal –at a
lower cost than traditional protein production chains. In this project we develop innovative biotechnological solutions to upgrade residual ammonia from
waste streams to microbial single cell protein (SCP) that can be used as feed ingredient.
To design, operate and optimize a novel biological reactor for
ammonia uptake by methane oxidizing bacteria (MOB). The bioreactor will be
equipped with innovative mass transfer systems for safe methane/oxygen transfer using membranes.
To operate photobioreactors for optimal green microalgae cultivation and industrial water treatment.
For methane oxidizers project will be developed stepwise. In a
first stage the membrane systems need to be assessed and optimized for methane
and oxygen transfer to the liquid phase. In the second
phase, the novel reactor equipped with the high rate gas transfer units will be
tested for MOB cultivation and SCP production, which will be maximized.
Finally, the system will be tested with real biogas and residual ammonia.
For green microalgae cultivation, industrial wastewater enabling safe nutrient recovery will be identified and treated with the algae. Cultivation conditions will be optimized to tailor the molecular composition of the algae (e.g., proteins, pigments, etc.).