Canadian Biomass Magazine

News Biofuel Biofuels
Development in aquafeed protein presents potential new revenue for ethanol industry


June 12, 2019
By KnipBio

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KnipBio, Inc., announced today a major development in its fermentation research that enables the company to produce its single cell protein aquafeed ingredient, KnipBio Meal (KBM), from condensed distillers’ solubles (CDS). This breakthrough has the potential to be a significant new revenue source for the ethanol industry, enabling it to better use existing waste streams to create a new high-value product.

According to Larry Feinberg, CEO of KnipBio, “The economics of producing KnipBio Meal from CDS are truly compelling. The global biofuels industry produces more than 2.5 million tons of CDS or corn syrup each year. This CDS sells for about $100 per ton and is typically sprayed on animal feed. When the same CDS is upcycled to produce KnipBio Meal, the resulting single cell protein sells for more than $1500 per ton. The need for protein in the aquaculture industry is expected to grow by 10 million tons by 2028, so SCP production will be a significant new market for ethanol by-products.”

KnipBio has been working since 2013 on the development of a patented process to create single cell proteins through the fermentation of methanol. To reduce input costs and increase feedstock flexibility, the company initiated a research program in 2018 to produce protein using low-cost feedstocks including CDS and other biofuel waste streams. Feedstock flexibility ensures supply security and price stability. It also makes KBM more sustainable and allows production to be co-located wherever industrial agriculture and food processing is done.

Feinberg added, “One of the challenges of CDS is that it is a mixed carbon stream whose contents will vary from batch to batch. Our scientists needed to adapt our microbial platform to develop an advanced strain that performs well regardless of the exact makeup of CDS. Now that we have succeeded in this, we are shifting our efforts from laboratory research to commercialization, and scale-up work has already begun. We anticipate that KnipBio Meal produced from CDS will be on the market in the near future.”