Estimates for Cell-Based Protein Operations

Our most pressing outstanding research questions pertain to obtaining projections for cell-based protein operations at scale.

We’re interested in your estimates for the following:

Land use – in m2 / year per 100g of protein
Energy use – in Joules
Greenhouse gas emissions – in kgCO2eq per 100g of protein
Eutrophication – in g PO43-eq per 100g of protein
Acidification – in g SO2eq
Water use

If you do not have estimates, we’d be grateful if you could guide us to any helpful materials (links) that you may have.

@Khan and @DanielKarsevar, you might be able to share your own estimates on these issues, or point us in the right direction.

Hi Nick - the best resource I would point to is the Essential Readings & Research at

Thanks, @DanielKarsevar! That looks like a great resource for our team.

I’d also like to ask @kaweikel and @christielagally if they can help us answer some of @cnatan’s questions?

Thank you @DanielKarsevar. If you find any additional materials in terms of scholarly articles/journals, please let us know.

@mattiwilks, @Akcali and @Scott_Weathers, would you be able to help us answer some of @cnatan’s questions? Thank you!

@jmdbhawna25, I’d be grateful if you could take a look at @cnatan’s question as well and point us in the right direction.

@rbeelman, @Arsim, @Ivana2019, do you have estimates you could share with us?

We’d love to get some projections in order to establish a baseline before we delve deeper into developing the metrics of the prize competition we’re designing.


@NickOttens You should have someone at SynBioBeta next week. There are a TON of key leaders that will be there, including several from Calysta, who I would say are the big dogs in this. You should connect with Ryan Bethencourt too, he’s SU alumni, and doing great with Wild Earth. He has a session there.
I am there as an Ambassador with the just launching Bio Belt program. John Cumbers would be a huge resource.
For the questions you are asking here, I can’t think of a better place to get in front of info, and you can still get back for Visioneers 2019. Anyone can give opinions, but none count more than the folks that are actually doing it.

This is not my area of expertise - I can only point you in the direction of a couple of academic papers I’ve seen.

  1. Tuomisto & de Mattos (2011). Environmental impacts of cultured meat consumption.
  2. Lynch & Pierrehumbert (2019). Climate impacts of cultured meat and beef cattle.

Thank you both for the recommendations!

I had a look at the reference papers @mattiwilks ; thanks for sharing! These point at the power of/need for true cost accounting, and that using sensor gathered data to insure it does not suffer interpretation. I was in an argument comparing phototrophic vs heterotrophic algae production, where the fermentation folks extolled the efficiency of their side… Totally true, IF they don’t count the sugar production they need. We are working on solutions that use methane as the energy source. We make that methane by cleaning up the back end of dairy and poultry farms. NOTHING can come close to this loop, even before we roll land based tilapia farming, and our duckweed polishing into it. The solutions we need to feed the world, and heal the planet are here already. They just need to be assembled properly.

In February, the Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai (ICT) India, and the Good Food Institute announced a plan for a Centre of Excellence in Cellular Agriculture to take on open access-research and help private industry enter the sector. Two months later, the Government of India’s Department of Biotechnology (DBT) has separately granted $640,000 (Rs 4.5 crores) to Hyderabad-based institutes Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) and National Research Centre on Meat (NRC Meat).
The grant is one of the largest investments ever made by a government in cell-based meat research and offers the further promise that India is willing to make visionary investments in the nutrition security of a growing global population. GFI-India continues to lend its expertise and support to this project, which along with the ICT Centre of Excellence will help create a thriving and profitable ecosystem for cell-based meat in India.