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Deep Branch - transforming sustainable animal feed

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by Startacus Admin


Deep Branch is an innovative startup that is converting clean CO2 into high-value products to enable global sustainable animal nutrition

deep branch image.Back in 2018, we wrote about how the use of fishmeal as a cheap source of protein for animal feed is extremely bad, and what startup MiAlgae is doing to replace it. 

Over-fishing, pollution, and even slavery top the list of reasons the use of traditional fishmeal needs to end. Another primary source of protein for livestock feed is soy, with soybean plantations being responsible for significant deforestation. The need for alternative sources of protein has never been more pressing.

UK- and Netherlands-based startup Deep Branch is tackling that much needed alternative protein for animal feed in a unique way: by turning CO2 emissions into protein. 

deep branchDeep Branch’s solution is to create high-quality protein by recycling industrial carbon emissions via a chemical process to separate the carbon dioxide from other waste gasses. By feeding the carbon dioxide and hydrogen to microorganisms, it is a similar fermentation process to that of alcohol, except what comes out is high quality protein which can then be added to other biomass to create animal feed.

The quantity of emissions this process will actually capture and prevent escaping into the atmosphere is unclear, and this is technically not an actual carbon-capture project; however, the main environmental benefit will be in the startup’s ability to reduce dependency on damaging processes like the aforementioned soy and fish farming, and instead utilising a process that is on-going regardless of whether its being harnessed in this way.

In March, Deep Branch announced that it had raised €8m in Series A funding in a round led by Novo Holdings and DSM Venturing. This comes on the heels of raising £3m from Innovate UK in mid-2020 and another €2.5m from European Innovation Council (EIC) Accelerator funding.

While Deep Branch might not be the solution to save the world from carbon emissions, it might do a lot of good in being the alternative to the terrible processes that it is seeking to replace. And that’s nearly as good.


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Published on: 13th May 2021

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