A PROJECT which uses recycled carbon dioxide to create a single-cell protein that could feature in poultry diets has won £3m government funding.

The REACT-FIRST project is a consortium led by biotechnology company Deep Branch, which has technology that uses microbes fuelled by waste carbon dioxide to produce a protein product called Proton.

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Members of the consortium include renewable energy giant Drax, compound feed specialist AB Agri and Nottingham Trent University.

The project will assess the cost, digestibility, nutritional quality and carbon footprint of Proton as well as the commercial opportunities.

It was one of nine agri-tech firms to win funding from Innovate UK, which totals £24m.

An infographic demonstrating how the ract first partnership will work.

Deep Branch says that their Proton product has a lower carbon footprint than more conventional protein sources such as soya and could potentially offer a more secure supply chain.

The technology is modular in design and fits into a shipping container so can be installed on-site.

Animal feed

Peter Rowe, chief executive of Deep Branch, said: “Currently, most animal feed protein sources are imported from overseas, making the UK dependent on complicated and fragile supply chains. REACT-FIRST has been created to focus solely on addressing this problem.

“Projects like REACT-FIRST are key to help the industry move towards achieving net-zero emissions.

“Its solution uses the technology developed by Deep Branch, but whilst this has huge transformative potential, commercialisation is not possible without cooperation with key stakeholders across the value chain.”