HELSINKI, July 22 (Xinhua) -- Researchers from Finnish Technical Research Center (VTT) and the Lappeenranta University of Technology have found a way to produce single-cell protein using electricity and carbon dioxide.
In a latest statement, VTT did not elaborate on the process of the production, but only said the protein can be produced "anywhere where renewable energy is available".
"Compared to traditional agriculture, the production method under development does not require a location with the conditions for agriculture, such as the right temperature, humidity or a certain soil type," said Jero Ahola, a professor of the Lappeenranta University of Technology.
Juha-Pekka Pitkanen, principal scientist at VTT, said the protein produced in this way can be further developed into food and animal feed.
The researchers estimated that the new method to create food from electricity can be nearly ten times more energy efficient than common photosynthesis, and thus does little impact on the environment.
However, it takes about two weeks to produce one gram of protein in the laboratory at this moment, and the researchers have stressed the need to improve the process.
"The idea is to develop the concept into a mass product, with a price that drops as the technology becomes more common," said Ahola.
The study is part of a wide-ranging Neo-Carbon Energy research project aiming to develop an energy system that is completely renewable and emission-free, said VTT.