“Industrial plants are releasing carbon dioxide-rich flu gas or mixed gas that contains carb dioxide and hydrogen, which is ideal for us as their processes already concentrate gases for release purposes,” explained Mr. Tze. “For NovoNutrients, it’s a matter of piping it into a buffering area where we can get the temperature to what we want and control the speed of release into our process.”
“Our process is made of three layers,” Mr. Tze continued. “The base layer is the feedstock gases, hydrogen and carbon dioxide. The middle layer is the workhorse bacteria, the primary producers that make the lower layer useful. At the top layer, there are secondary producers that wouldn’t be able to survive on hydrogen and carbon dioxide on their own, but are essentially able to be indirectly grown by hydrogen and carbon dioxide due to the primary producers, as metabolites in the primary producers are inputs for secondary producers.”
According to Mr. Tze, there are some remarkably efficient and desirable species and strains of hydrogen oxidizing bacteria. “NovoNutrients has done work using real flu gas in the field and from the field to develop proprietary strains that are flu gas resistant,” explained Mr. Tze. “Strains that don’t just thrive on lab gases, but actually have the ability to metabolize a lot of impurities that are found in what’s coming out of the chimneys of a cement plant, for example, or gases from an oil and gas refining operation that would otherwise be flare. We’ve seen an increase in growth rates of three fold in some propriety strains.“
“In terms of the efficiency and speed of the biological system, you are looking for bacteria with good yield,” he stated. “For every kilo of feedstock you want them to produce as close to a kilo of feed product as possible.”
NovoNutrients is currently ‘coming out of the lab,’ and has done testing on compositional analysis in some significant detail as well as an ongoing series of informal experiments with brine shrimp and zebrafish in lab. “With brine shrimp we have had multiple generations that have been successfully raised being fed only Novomeal consortium,” explained Mr. Tze. “It’s a nice indicator of the results we would expect to get when we start to look at commercial species.”
NovoNutrients expects to be in the market with at least one Novocutical in 2019. Due to the scale required and the non-conventional process to produce Novomeal, it will be a few years before it is available on the market.
Learn more about NovoNutrients. You can also the VICTAM interview with Mr. Tze from the tradeshow floor at last week’s event: