NovoNutrients transforms waste industrial CO2 into feed and food, through industrial biotech – initially for the fast growing aquaculture sector.
November 6, 2018 – NovoNutrients‘ CEO, David Tze, delivered a company presentation at the conclusion of the 4.5 month biotech accelerator, IndieBio. Here’s the video:
The abridged slides and text follow:
We make food from CO2.
In 2012, I was above the arctic circle, in Norway, inspecting fish farms. I logged over thirty thousand hours managing Aquacopia, the seed fund for aquaculture. Over a dozen years, I saw hundreds of aquaculture technologies and invested in 5. And I got deep into aquafeed proteins. I spent my final year looking for one last technology that would be worth not just investing in, but also dedicating my next thirty thousand hours to. I found NovoNutrients. I saw the potential to win the market for feeding fish. That’s a hundred billion dollar market, today.
We take untreated industrial emissions of CO2 and we turn them into protein — initially for animal feed and starting in fish farming. The International Panel on Climate Change just said that humanity has only 12 years to fight the first real battle for global warming. Billions of dollars will be invested in currently early stage technologies in this area in the next few years. At NovoNutrients, we’re building profitable technology to win that battle and the war. We confront unsustainable carbon emissions as well as two other, global challenges: the overfishing of our oceans and feeding a growing and ever more demanding population.
In the wild, big fish eat little fish. And that actually doesn’t change on a fish farm. Every year, aquaculture requires 400 billion little fish to be caught, to be blended with grain, and to be fed to other fish, in fish farms.
The main commodity made from those 400 billion ground up fish is called “marine protein.” Its price has increased five-and-a-half-fold since 1995. A rift is opening up. Between the world supply of marine protein that is strangled by overfishing. And the nearly insatiable demand that comes from the rocketing growth of fish farming. Aquaculture will falter if it does not get a growing stream of novel proteins that are equivalent to ground up little fish. And very, very little of that can be supplied by existing, commercial technologies or natural resources. Not too long from now, the gap will be $1 billion, then quickly, 5. And then more.
Feed mill customers are unanimous in their three criteria for a new replacement ingredient to solve their expensive marine protein problem. They are properly fixated on cost, availability, and nutritional quality. Our product, Novomeal, checks all three.
Made from specialty microbes that grow on CO2, Novomeal’s a natural, non-GMO, complete protein with all the amino acids and without mercury or other contaminants that are found in ground up little fish. We’ll be able to enhance the base model with enzymes, with carotenoids, with omega three’s, and with an array of other options. It’ll become the next essential ingredient for aquaculture.
Our technology centers on our patent-pending microbial consortia — hyper-efficient ecosystems of symbiotic bacteria. They are the product, literally.
They grow in our looping gas bioreactor.
We feed them CO2, in our current system in Sunnyvale. Here’s a photo. Like all our systems, it doesn’t need pure lab gases. Our microbes have thrived on and adapted to real world, industrial waste gases piped directly from a cement plant for eight continuous months and shipped in from an oil refinery. Gas fermentation scales readily. Our next bioreactor will be assembled in the first half of next year and will produce over 1 ton per month.
As we grow, our first mass production facility will be financed in a joint venture with a larger agribusiness company.
As recently as Sunday, Montana trout were dining on Novomeal at a USDA feed testing lab. They love it. And the data back that up: our growth rates, in blue, overtook those of the control diet for the most economically important, final period of the trial.
As our bioreactors grow, our plant sizes increase, and those plants are replicated across feed demanding regions and continents – our production costs come down dramatically, enabling us to produce world changing quantities of Novomeal.
We’ll proceed market by market. We enter specialty aquaculture and ultimately we’ll replace all ground up little fish in all aquaculture. Our margin potential allows us to discount – in order to more easily pre-sell our production capacity and/or to justify expansive project finance for even faster replication and global growth.
Our bacteria are superior to ground up little fish. They’re also better than competing technologies like insects, algae, and soy. That are being developed by various companies. We won’t need marketing for Novomeal to be adopted rapidly and extensively. Our customers’ decisions will be made by fish nutritionists and the software they use. They’ll optimizes selection of feed ingredients, based entirely on merit and metrics. So, when Novomeal is available to them, they’ll buy it every time. We could become a substantial company at a single location. The annual CO2 emissions from a large cement plant would create 3 billion dollars in Novomeal, worth the same as the entire annual soy production of the state of Nebraska — 330 million bushels a year.
Our specific combination of technology, science, and market focus has been a magnet for top talent with deep experience in fermentation, synthetic biology, and aquaculture. We’re working together… to capture carbon, not fish. Shortly, we’ll be scaling up production — for our first customers. The world needs to be carbon negative by midcentury. We aim to turn billions of tons of CO2 into protein. We’re closing on one and half million, this week. You can join our accelerating movement by talking to us or just by choosing NovoNutrients seafood when you see it. It’s clean food from CO2.
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