Making food out of air, bacteria and vitamins?

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Making food out of air, bacteria and vitamins?

Post by FBeyer » Mon Aug 05, 2019 11:36 am ... rW26N22dsE

High protein content and supposedly very environmentally friendly way of producing food. I hope reality lives up the hype in the article.

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Re: Making food out of air, bacteria and vitamins?

Post by Riggerjack » Tue Aug 06, 2019 8:46 am

:twisted: "Soylent Green is people!" :twisted:

Reading between the lines, it seems that NASA has discovered yeast. But maybe I am just cynical.

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Re: Making food out of air, bacteria and vitamins?

Post by jacob » Tue Aug 06, 2019 8:55 am

It seems electricity was an input. I wonder why. I can of course speculate...

FWIW, the Haber Bosch process, which is currently responsible for keeping 70% of the world's population alive, can also run on electricity (instead of natgas). Add essential mineral and a growing medium (soil) and this essentially describes modern agriculture. The interesting part in the above is the lack of need for soil. That's good, because the world is close to maxing out on that count.

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Re: Making food out of air, bacteria and vitamins?

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Tue Aug 06, 2019 9:22 am

When you use words like "efficient" or "sustainable", you have to define terms and describe boundary conditions. From what I can gather from the link, the process described uses less water and less space, but more electricity per human nutritional unit of protein produced.

So, the first question would be how much solar acreage would need to be devoted to the PV or other means of generating the necessary electricity for the process and what would be the total embedded energy in the production and maintenance of necessary equipment?

The second question would have to do with circumstances warranting such conservation of water towards end goal since unlike energy, particularly when found in highly useful form such as electricity, water is cycled rather than thoroughly degraded.

IOW, it might be a process that is best suited to high-tech/crowded/urban/dry environment, especially given obvious additional energy cost of transportation to end user. One of the reasons a great deal of water is currently dedicated to agriculture is that solar acreage is cheaper in areas that are virtually deserts. So, we have ridiculous situation in the U.S. where "fresh" produce is grown in dry South-West region and then shipped wet (as grapes not raisins, for example) to damp* North-East region. As soon as the price of petroleum hits $X? barrel, this paradigm will drastically shift.

*Besides brief period of babying some transplants, my garden has required no watering this year.

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