Company Using Greenhouse Gases Gets Funding Boost

By Ben Hamill - May 08 2021

Company Using Greenhouse Gases Gets Funding Boost

DeNova, a biotechnology company based in Halifax has been using greenhouse gases to grow aquaculture fish food. Now, the company is getting a $2.6 million boost in funding from Canada’s Ocean Supercluster innovation program. The funding will help fuel the company’s ambition to become one of the world’s players in the fastest-growing food sector. By growing microbes and methanol, the firm is able to convert the protein into an ingredient in fish feed.

The project is still in its early stages and is based at a National Research Council laboratory. President Brianna Stratton has confirmed that the company is poised to take the next step. Its mission is to target the largest feed manufacturers and create a sustainable shift in the way that we purchase and manufacture feed.

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Sourcing Methane Gas

DeNova has made plans to source methane by capturing flare gas in Alberta’s oil-and-gas sector. It will be converted to methanol on site. Then, it will be transported to a production facility where the methanol will be used to feed and grow microbes in bioreactors.

Once the bacteria is grown out, it will be dried into a powder that can be added as an ingredient in feed pellets.

Connection To Walmart Corporation

The protein powder created by DeNova has already been added to pellets manufactured at the Centre for Aquaculture Technology in Souris. At the centre, it has been tested on juvenile Atlantic salmon. The facility has 100 fish tanks and is owned by Cuna del Mar, a fund based in the US that invests in open-ocean aquaculture. This fund is backed by the Walton family, founders of the Walmart Corporation.

Later this month, the centre will test DeNova’s pellets on adult Atlantic salmon with the aim of completing a life-cycle evaluation of the fish. Stratton has confirmed that DeNova has had very powerful results. The fish across all of the test diets have remained healthy. She added that the firm is very excited and believes that it will have the same results in the upcoming trial. DeNova’s protein in fish is also safe for people to eat.

Within the next three-to-five years, the company will try to move its technology from the laboratory to commercial production. DeNova’s intention is to have prototype production facilities within three years and within five years, go to market. Stratton added that she thinks the firm has something truly special here.

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