There is an urgent need to reduce the carbon emissions associated with human activity while simultaneously removing excess carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere to protect the future of the planet. The Paris Agreement, which came into effect in 2016, aims to keep global warming to well below two degrees Celsius in comparison to pre-industrial levels but preferably below 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Image Credit: Tomas Rebro/Shutterstock.com
Achievement of this goal will not be a simple feat; it will require countries to work together to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. To get there, all industries, as well as individuals, must consider their activities and how they can sustainably change in order to release fewer greenhouse gases. Industries that are the world’s largest polluters will be the main focus of strategies to reduce net carbon emissions. Recent figures demonstrate that over a third of all man-made emissions are associated with food systems. Therefore, innovative processes are required to bring lasting change to the food industry.
Kiverdi has established a series of commercial solutions that promises a method of introducing carbon transformation into the food industry. Together, a team of scientists, engineers, and business leaders have leveraged NASA’s concepts that altered how food was produced on year-long space missions, converting the astronauts’ exhaled CO2 into food, into a new system that creates a circular economy - transforming carbon into food and everyday products rather than relying on the extraction of further resources from the planet.
Creating Circular Economies to Tackle Climate Change
Kiverdi’s story begins back in the 1960s when scientists at NASA were carefully considering how to provide astronauts with enough food for their year-long space mission. Given that weight is precious in space travel, and every gram taken out of the atmosphere has a significant impact on fuel consumption, the option to produce food in space rather than taking enough supplies onboard stood out as the best option. With limited resources to produce food in space, scientists came up with an innovative method of using single-cell organisms, known as hydrogenotrophs, that can convert CO2 into food.
With an abundance of CO2 available onboard in the form of the astronauts’ exhaled breath, the scientists developed a method of converting this resource into food. The team at Kiverdi realized that this system is not only beneficial for producing food in space with limited resources but it also presents an opportunity to tackle climate change by reducing the emissions of the food industry and setting up a circular economy whereby atmospheric CO2 can be converted into usable food products to feed the world’s growing population without demanding additional land for farming.
Around 36 billion tons of CO2 are currently released into the Earth’s atmosphere each year. With Kiverdi’s systems, this abundance of greenhouse gas that threatens the future of the planet can be converted into something that is in increasing demand, a sustainable food source. Kiverdi has more than 46 patents for carbon transformation technology, either granted or pending.
Unreasonable Group: Converting CO2 into Useable Household Products | Lisa Dyson
Video Credit: Kiverdi, Inc./YouTube.com
Creating Meat from the Air
One area that these patents have been developed for is for the innovative concept of air-based foods, a game-changer in terms of alternative protein sources and food sources that do not rely on increasingly scarce farming space. The carbon transformation technology allows meat-style products to be created from the air we breathe. The technology is a world-first, marking the first time in history that scientists have been able to create a meat-style protein product from the air.
The benefits of air-based meat production vs actual meat production on the environment are plentiful. The process does not rely on agricultural land, water, sunlight, or other traditional resources. The revolutionary air-based meat is created using elements found in the air, which are combined with mineral nutrients and water. The process is powered by renewable energy, while a probiotic production process is used to convert the elements into a meat-style protein product fit for human consumption. The resultant air-based meat contains the same amino acid profile as meat products obtained from animals and is also high in B vitamins.
Kiverdi intends to reduce levels of atmospheric CO2 that are contributing to climate change, but it also wants to usher in a new era of sustainable food production, ensuring that the needs of our growing population can be supported long into the future.
Air-based protein is one of many solutions Kiverdi has established in its carbon transformation journey which aims to revolutionize our relationship with carbon, encourage circular economies across industries, and bring in sustainable change to tackle climate change.
It is likely that Kiverdi’s systems will play an important role in how we reduce the carbon footprint of multiple industries and it will likely inspire the development of further technologies that look to recycle carbon in meaningful ways.
References and Further Reading
Air Protein. (2019) Air Protein introduces the world’s first air-based food. [Online] Available at: https://www.airprotein.com/press-release
Kiverdi. Carbon transformation in action. [Online] Available at: https://www.kiverdi.com/about
Vetter, David. (2021) How Much Does Our Food Contribute To Global Warming? New Research Reveals All. Forbes. [Online] Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidrvetter/2021/03/10/how-much-does-our-food-contribute-to-global-warming-new-research-reveals-all/?sh=2584fcd227d7
United Nations Climate Change. The Paris Agreement. [Online] Available at: https://unfccc.int/process-and-meetings/the-paris-agreement/the-paris-agreement