Climate Changemakers is a series highlighting the extraordinary people on a $20 million quest to save the planet through carbon conversion. This guest post is written Team Protein Power, from California. Protein Power is one of 27 semi-finalist teams competing in the $20M NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE.
Did you know that our food system, including agriculture and deforestation, contributes to about 20% of the global emissions of greenhouse gases? When it comes to the meat industry, for example, each cow produces the same amount of greenhouse gases as a car. So now the question becomes, what do we do when our methods of obtaining the food we need to live, significantly impacts the world that we can’t live without? How do we live sustainably today while also implementing new practices to ensure that we have a healthy planet as our population continues to grow to nearly 10 billion people by 2050.
We at Team Protein Power asked ourselves this question, and, through Kiverdi, found an answer. Using the beer industry as an example to help illustrate the Kiverdi method, here’s our solution to the challenge.
The 2014 global consumption of beer was 189 million kiloliters, which is equivalent to nearly 300 billion bottles! You see, all this beer is distilled at breweries (over 5,000 of them in the US alone), and breweries also produce carbon dioxide through their processes (about 8.8 MM tons/yr of CO2 from all that beer). That’s where we come in. Our process provides a disruptive and innovative technology to collect the carbon dioxide produced from brewing beer, and, with a few other inputs, convert it into protein. Even better, the protein created contains ALL of the essential amino acids needed for a healthy diet. In fact, our complete protein, has 50% or greater protein content than other vegan based proteins. Now, imagine pairing one of our facilities with every brewery across the globe, strategically aligned to capture that food-grade CO2 for protein production, creating over 4.5 M metric tons of protein per year. Not only does this directly address the challenge of meeting our protein demands, but it also supplies an accessible conversion process to help alleviate some of our atmospheric dilemmas. Problem solved.
We and Kiverdi are on a mission to provide a new way to responsibly and sustainably manufacture protein. With this approach, one can imagine the grand goal of surpassing the world’s protein demands with nutritious products (like vegan burgers, protein bars, enriched flour, protein shakes, and more). We aim to be a leader for the environmentally conscious supply chain of tomorrow. Our goals span generations to come and our multifaceted approach has the capacity for significant global impact