Arkeon Biotechnologies, a Vienna-based biotech start-up, has just announced it has secured a $7 million investment for its groundbreaking CO2 protein production.
The Austrian company will use the funding to scale its production capacity of protein that is derived from waste CO2 and advance commercial product development.
Arkeon uses ancient microorganisms known as archaea and gas fermentation to create a CO2 protein product that has all the 20 amino acids that we require for nutrition.
The biotech start-up has set out on a mission to develop the world’s most sustainable and democratic food system over the coming 12 years.
Archaea was an ideal choice for biotech purposes, as these microorganisms are not only equipped to produce variable and viable proteins, but they are also capable of withstanding extreme conditions.
Arkeon’s technology involves a single fermentation cycle, during which the archaea can produce the complete set of protein building blocks.
The fermentation cycle does not require the use of land or animals, and is not dependent on location.
All of this makes Arkeon’s unique approach highly attractive as an alternative to traditional agriculture that would alleviate the food industry from reliance on crops.
Arkeon co-founder and managing director Dr Gregor Tegl shared his excitement about the prospect of ‘turning the equation of modern food production upside down’ and transforming a resource-intensive sector into one that is sustainable and is low in CO2 emissions.
According to Dr Tegl, the gas fermentation process that is in the heart of the start-up’s technology consumes more CO2 than it emits.
All of the company’s proteins are non-GMO, vegan and environmentally friendly, with immense potential for future applications in the food industry.
Arkeon’s plans already have a focus on supplying food producers with their CO2 protein and amino acids that can be added to food and beverages.
And with one of the first backers of Arkeon being Berlin-based EVIG Group – a strong advocate for completely removing animals from the world’s food system – there is plenty of reason to believe products like these will be hitting grocery store shelves sooner rather than later.