iCell to produce single-cell protein from process water at sugar plant

ICell completed a production facility that will convert nutrients previously lost in process water into a single-cell protein (SCP) for animal feeds

Online PR News – 01-August-2019 – SHANGHAI, CHINA – iCell Sustainable Nutrition Co., Hong Kong, and Shandong Zhonggu Starch and Sugar Co. of China (SZSS) today jointly announced the completion of their full-scale production facility that will convert nutrients previously lost in the process water into a usable single-cell protein (SCP) for use in animal feeds. Both companies expect the commercial shipments of the SCP to begin in August.

The facility in Shandong is the second full- scale, single-cell protein production facility for iCell in China, which increases their production capacity to several thousand tons/year. iCell Sustainable Nutrition is a Hong Kong-based technology company that holds more than 50 patents throughout the world for the production and use of SCPs for use in animal and plant nutrition.

"By recovering valuable nutrients from the process wastewater with patented technology, iCell has created a more integrated and holistic water management strategy that converts nutrients which were previously discarded, into high-quality, single-cell proteins for animal feed," said Jianhua Song, Vice President, Operations with iCell. "We anticipate that this facility will generate economic value that exceeds $3.5MM/year (USD)."
As a large-scale processor of corn starch and sugar in China, SZSS produces 3,000,000 tons of products annually. Every day, the production facility generates more than 10,0050 tons/day of organic-rich nutrient- laden water sludge that requires treatment and disposal, with costs exceeding $300,000 (USD) annually.

By converting the previously discarded nutrients found in the effluent wastewater into single-cell proteins for use with animal feed, iCell is helping create sustainable environmental and economic benefits for SZSS.

"With this approach, iCell is also helping Shandong ZSS meet stringent environmental water discharge requirements for liquid waste streams that include nitrogen and phosphorous," said Song.

Producers of animal feedstock are becoming more interested in single-cell protein and beneficial bacteria because it possesses a low raw-material cost, yet has a high nutritional value, making it an ideal product to compensate for a shortage of high-quality protein in feedstock.

"The SCP from iCell contains high levels of proteins with excellent amino acid profiles and nucleotide content, making it a more cost-effective supplement for animal feed than fish meal. We've also found that the SCP from iCell improves an animal's ability to absorb the proteins and improves feed conversion ratios (FRCR) because iCell's SCP does not contain antigens typically found in plant proteins like soybean meal, making it excellent for aquaculture applications," said Dr. Hellen Wang, a senior nutritionist with iCell."

To generate single-cell protein products, the biological, nutrient-rich sludge water is run through advanced and patented iCell technologies, such as rapid control fermentation, cell-wall breaking enzymolysis, instantaneous air drying, sterilizing and other processes.

iCell has been commercially producing SCP's for several years, and anticipates significant growth in the next 3-5 years with additional projects already in various stages of implementation construction in multiple countries around the world.