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Air Protein

Air Protein

Air Protein is a Berkeley-based biotechnology company producing protein with microorganisms that are fed carbon dioxide in a mission to replace animal agriculture.


Air Protein is a Berkeley-based company using CO2-fed microbes to produce protein in the form of air-based meat. Air Protein states their mission is to replace animal agriculture with the most sustainable protein. Air Protein is believed to be the first to develop the process for producing human food with CO2-fed microbes, but other companies have developed CO2-fed microbial systems for animal and fish feed production. Air Protein uses microorganisms called hydrogenotrophs to produce a protein-based powder that can be constituted into a meat-like product with applications in protein flour for pasta, cereal and bars.

In November 2019 the company announced the creation of the first air-based meat created from elements in the air. The meat is produced without traditional land, water and weather requirements. The process combines elements in the air and combines them with water and mineral nutrients. Renewable energy and a microbial production process are used to convert the elements from the air into a nutrient-rich protein claimed to have the same amino acid profile as an animal protein including crucial B vitamins that can be deficient in a vegan diet. Protein is made in a matter of days in a process similar to making yogurt or beer, requiring a fraction of the land used for traditional meat production. A proprietary probiotic production process is used.

Air Protein's carbon transformation technology was developed by Kiverdi. Air Protein is a sister company of Keverdi, which is focused on using carbon dioxide to make environmentally friendly products like plastics and soil. Air Protein's technology was inspired by NASA's closed loop carbon cycle concepts for long-journey space missions. NASA discovered the class of microbes called hydrogenotrophs which, like plants, convert carbon dioxide into food. Air Protein's founder, Lisa Dyson, who has a doctoral in physics from MIT, reasoned that Earth, with its limited resources and need to recycle carbon dioxide, is like a giant spaceship.


January 2021
Air Protein raises a $32,000,000 series A round from ADM Ventures, Barclays Group Staff Union, Barclays PLC, GV and Unreasonable Collective.
December 2, 2020
Air Protein was founded by John Reed and Lisa Dyson.

Funding Rounds


Further Resources


A forgotten Space Age technology could change how we grow food | Lisa Dyson

The newest fake meat is made from thin air

Adele Peters


November 12, 2019

Would You Eat Meat Made from Air?

Caroline Delbert


November 13, 2019


November 16, 2019
NASA discovered that a class of microbes can turn CO2 into protein the same way plants do. The resulting powder could replace soy or pea protein.


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