Food from electricity, no it’s not a Star Trek fantasy. Finnish company Solar Foods plan to have this commercialised by 2021!
The process is based upon using solar power to produce hydrogen from water to feed hydrogen oxidising bacteria. The other ingredients are “a small amount of water, carbon dioxide drawn from the air, nitrogen and trace quantities of minerals such as calcium, sodium, potassium and zinc. The food they have produced is 50% to 60% protein; the rest is carbohydrate and fat.”
They claim that, using this process, they could produce the entire worlds protein supply in an area the size of Ohio! The bonus is that deserts are the best production areas due to the high availability of sunlight. That said it’s an unlikely outcome as the product will most likely be used as an ingredient in other food products. However the small resource footprint is highly attractive in our quest to feed 10 bn people by 2050.
They’ve now been selected as an incubation project by the European Space Agency so keep your eyes on them.
The wonders of new technologies continue to amaze me!