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After vacuum food, food from nothing?

Posted on 18 January 2018.

Finnish researchers have developed a novel and 100% sustainable food - the unique ingredient is electrically-treated CO2…

On 2 August with only 58% of the year gone, humankind had already consumed the natural resources that the Earth is able to renew in one year. It’s a symbolic deadline that is likely to come even earlier in the year given that the population of the planet will grow from 7 to nearly 10 billion by 2050. Unless of course Finland has found a solution... a solution that has the surprising name of "protein reactor".

As part of the "Neo-Carbon Energy" project, which is developing a new system entirely based on renewable energies, the VTT Technical Research Center of Finland Ltd, Finland Futures Research Center (FFRC) at the University of Turku, and Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT) have managed to create what, according to researchers involved in the project, could help fight world hunger.

Everything you need

The size of a coffee machine, the "protein reactor" produces a highly nutritious brown powder, composed of 50% protein, 25% carbohydrates, along with fats and nucleic acids. All you need. How? It captures carbon dioxide from the air, which, thanks to an addition of chemical nutrients and an electrical treatment, is then transformed into powder.

Finnish researchers say that "electric food manufacturing" could be ten times more efficient in terms of energy than the photosynthesis used by plants.

In addition to helping fight hunger, the Finnish invention could feed livestock and so release land to grow new crops and help reforestation.

For the time being, the work of the VTT Technical Research Center of Finland Ltd, the Finland Futures Research Center and the Lappeenranta University of Technology is still in its infancy: it takes two weeks to produce one gram of powder - the equivalent of a teaspoon…

Once fully developed, the "protein reactor" promises to be robust as it could produce an infinite amount of raw material.



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