Brushes off dust from old Nasa idea: Bacteria that converts gas into food

19. July 2021

NASA developed the idea to be able to send humans to Mars. Now it will contribute to sustainable fish feed on Lista.

In 1966, NASA explored the possibility of feeding astronauts on long-duration space journeys by growing bacteria that could consume CO₂. This idea, which was originally developed with manned trips to Mars in mind, has now been revitalized for a completely different purpose: to produce fish feed. Terje Ernst Mikalsen, a serial entrepreneur, together with researchers at Norce in Bergen, has resumed this idea through the company Gas2Feed. The plan is to capture CO₂ from the salmon's respiration in land-based farms, combine it with hydrogen, oxygen and bacteria, and then produce protein that can be used as fish feed.

The results from the first tests at Norce in Bergen have shown that this process can produce a high-quality protein. Gas 2 Feed has plans to implement this combination of CO₂ capture, feed production and fish production in Lista in Farsund municipality. This will happen through a new facility to be built by Gas 2 Feed's sister company, EcoFishCircle, over the next two to three years.

This innovative approach to fish feed production can potentially significantly reduce CO₂ emissions. By extracting CO₂ from the fish tanks and saving greenhouse gas emissions from soy production and transport, a reduction of over 2.2 kilograms of CO₂ emissions per fish can be achieved. This corresponds to approximately 40% of the total greenhouse gas emissions from production before the fish is slaughtered.

This innovative concept shows how old ideas can be given new life and potentially contribute to sustainable solutions in modern industry.

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