Scientists make food from electricity and thin air
Researchers using a bioreactor have created a compound that contains more than 50 percent protein out of electricity and carbon dioxide.
LAPPEENRANTA, FINLAND — Researchers in Finland have made food from electricity and carbon dioxide captured from the air.
The study is part of the joint Neo-Carbon Energy research project by scientists at Lappeenranta University of Technology and the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.
The food-creating system uses a bioreactor, which contains water, microbes and nutrients such as nitrogen, sulfur and phosphorus.
The electric current triggers electrolysis of the water and with carbon dioxide captured from the air, the end result of the chemical reaction produces a powdery edible compound.
The compound contains more than 50 percent protein, 25 percent carbohydrates and the rest is fats and nucleic acids.
“In practice, all the raw materials are available from the air,” Juha-Pekka Pitkänen, Principal Scientist at VTT said in a press release.
“In the future, the technology can be transported to, for instance, deserts and other areas facing famine. One possible alternative is a home reactor, a type of domestic appliance that the consumer can use to produce the needed protein.”
According to the UN, 795 million people are undernourished globally and another 2 billion people are expected to join them by 2050.
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