Energy 2016 Blog
Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT) and the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland have launched a research on how nutritious food can be produced with renewable energy without any other natural resources. “The method involves conducting renewable electricity into a bioreactor, breaking down water into hydrogen and oxygen. Meanwhile, carbon dioxide captured from the atmosphere is also fed into the reactor. The microbes in the reactor are supplied with nutrients, such as nitrogen, sulphur, and phosphorus, as well as other micronutrients. This makes the microbes grow and multiply.” their press release clarifies.
The idea of manufacturing food without any natural ingredients is not all together new. But in this case the final product is in fact nutritious and may be used in cooking similarly as the protein powders now made of soy. However soy needs farming resources which obviously cause greenhouse gas emissions. The information here given does not tell what sort of renewable energy is used in this method but studies however have been made to show the clear benefits of this “electric food”.
The method now studied is far from commercial product but the results implement that this might very well be reality in the future. And what a future could that be! Imagine food production independent of any weather or climate conditions. Imagine the possibility to feed people with ingredients such as air and water. Now in my mind only the imagination brings limits to such utopia. We could stop using and foremost overusing natural resources. We no longer would have to worry about the problems of the growing need of farm land. And famine! Instead of bringing water to the dry wells in Africa, we could simply build a food factory that would not need fertile farmlands around it. Food just stops being an issue any more.
Though these fantasies may be decades ahead, it is of utmost importance to acknowledge the possibilities in the long run. In Finland revolutionary research is made. Whether some may disapprove this industrialization of food production but the hard fact of the matter is there is not enough food for all of us as it is. And growing of the traditional farming brings emissions that we simply can’t afford anymore. New and innovative solutions must be searched and found.
This is a wonderful example how energy is not just something that makes our iPhones work, heat our houses or factories run. The possibilities of energy seem infinite.