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How synthetic biology startups plan to revolutionize fertilizer production

Jordan McDonald of Emerging Tech Brew writes about two startups that are using biology to create fertilizer.

The C3 Take
  • Nitrogen fertilizer has played an essential role in increasing crop yields to feed a growing global population with less land, but the process to make the fertilizer is greenhouse gas intensive.
  • Startups including Pivot Bio and Joyn Bio are on a mission to reduce the carbon footprint of agriculture by cultivating nature-based solutions.
  • Joyn Bio is harnessing microbes to imitate a natural process called fixation–which occurs when bacteria in the soil pulls nitrogen from the air and converts it into ammonia, which helps the plant grow.
  • Joyn has raised $200 million and is hoping to bring a product to market in the next several years.

“Relying on biological processes eliminates the nitrous-oxide emissions that occur in synthetic fertilizer production, which have 300x the warming potential of carbon dioxide and accounted for 7% of all US GHG emissions in 2020, according to the EPA. It can also prevent nitrogen from leaching into and contaminating nearby water sources, a common side effect of using synthetic nitrogen fertilizers.”

Read the full article here.

The views and opinions expressed are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of C3.

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