Bacterial protein for food and feed generated via renewable energy and direct air capture of CO2: Can it reduce land and water use?

Jani Sillman (Corresponding Author), Lauri Nygren, Helena Kahiluoto, Vesa Ruuskanen, Anu Tamminen, Cyril Bajamundi, Marja Nappa, Mikko Wuokko, Tuomo Lindh, Pasi Vainikka, Juha Pekka Pitkänen, Jero Ahola

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    16 Citations (Scopus)


    The global food demand is projected to significantly increase. To maintain global food security in the future, protein production needs to become more efficient regarding the use of limited land and water resources. Protein-rich biomass can be produced via direct air capture of CO2 with the help of H2-oxidizing bacteria and renewable electricity in a closed, climate-independent system. This quantitative literature review conservatively estimated the direct land and water use of bacterial protein production relying on secondary data for the components of the technology and for the reference protein sources. A several times higher potential protein yield per land area can be achieved by this technology with approximately one-tenth of the water use compared to that required for soybean production.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)25-32
    Number of pages8
    JournalGlobal Food Security
    Publication statusPublished - 2019
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • Bio-electrochemical system
    • Carbon capture and utilization
    • Carbon dioxide
    • Direct air capture
    • Environmental sustainability
    • Hydrogen-oxidizing bacteria
    • Land use
    • Microbial biomass
    • Microbial protein (MP)


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