Capturing carbon from beer fermentation and air in spirulina production

September 10, 2023 | Science of The Total Environment 

Introduction: Research team from University of Cantabria in Spain evaluates carbon capture and utilization (CCU) technologies using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). The research focuses on the case study of replacing synthetic food-grade CO2 in spirulina production, a nutritionally rich algae product with CO2 captured from beer fermentation (BRW) and CO2 from Direct Air Carbon Capture (DACC). 

 Key findings: Results reveal that both CCU scenarios outperform the Business as Usual (BAU) scenario, demonstrating a 52% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions for BRW and a 46% reduction for DACC. While the brewery CCU offers a more substantial carbon mitigation, it falls short of achieving net zero emissions due to residual burdens across the supply chain. In contrast, the DACC unit holds promise as it could potentially supply the required CO2 for spirulina production and serve as a CO2 removal solution to offset residual emissions. This opens avenues for further exploration of DACC's technical and economic feasibility in the food sector.

 Read more: Carbon accounting of negative emissions technologies integrated in the life cycle of spirulina supplements


Fig. | Carbon capture and utilization technologies in the production of spirulina.