How biotech tools help to fight climate change

Biotechnology tools

Authors: Martin Walpot, acib GmbH

The recent climate change is caused by greenhouse gases absorbing some of the heat that the Earth radiates after it warms from sunlight, thus trapping this heat in Earth’s lower atmosphere, causing global warming. There are many approaches to reduce this phenomenon. acib as the leading institute of industrial biotechnology developed several biotech tools for that very purpose.

acib offers high-tech biotechnological solutions to reduce climate change effects, by tackling directly the green house gas CO2. But CO2 from food production and waste incineration can not only be avoided by using biotechnological ingenuity, it even can be used as nutritional snack by archaea, algae or bacteria, as shown in these examples:

Food and feed from carbon dioxide

Global CO2-emissions are rising continuously. At the same time, the world population is growing and with it the production of food. In particular, the demand for proteins will almost double by 2050. Alternative, sustainable sources for protein production are therefore in high demand. acib and its spin-offs Arkeon and Econutri are using a special microorganism to convert CO2 into high-quality protein for food and feed.

Alternative meat against climate change

Growing population and increasing wealth are causing the demand for meat to rise globally. Conventional meat production, consumes too many of the dwindling resources, requires too much land and produces huge amounts of greenhouse gasses.

acib is developing technology for a new, more environmentally friendly alternative: cultured meat. This in-vitro meat produced using biotechnological methods is still too expensive, but with the help of improved growth factors could be on supermarket shelves in the next few years at affordable prices. With a smaller footprint, a prospected tenfold reduction in CO2 emissions and the avoidance of animal suffering, this new, alternative type of meat could have above all climate-relevant and ethical advantages over conventional animal husbandry.


Microalgae for a greener future of skin care

Some petrochemical synthetic-based polymers – including cosmetics and personal care products – can cause skin problems, allergies, hormonal changes, and even lead to cancer with prolonged use. An environmentally friendly, biodegradable and non-toxic alternative are microalgal polymers with their fascinating intrinsic characteristics for different biotechnological and biomedical applications – from food and feed supplements or as a food colorant or as a nutraceutical due to its antioxidant properties.

Picture credits: Unsplash

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