ICM, KnipBio to create fermentation process for aquafeed

By Tim Albrecht | April 25, 2018

KnipBio Inc., an animal feed firm, and ICM Inc. announced this week that they’ve entered into a joint development agreement to create a commercial fermentation process for KnipBio’s single cell protein aquafeed, KnipBio Meal. As part of the agreement they’ll explore new fermentation processes using ethanol and ethanol production process coproducts.

ICM will also handle process engineering and construction plans for commercialization of KnipBio’s research. ICM will have representation on KnipBio’s board of directors.

Steve Hartig, ICM’s Vice President of Technology Development feels aquaculture needs “new sources of traceable, sustainable and resource-efficient protein and KnipBio’s single-cell protein technology could be a major factor in meeting that need.”

“Alternative proteins for aquaculture will be a multi-billion dollar market and this process enables the US ethanol industry new opportunities for growth,” Harting says.

The joint agreement, which is expected to last about one year, will be conducted at KnipBio’s research center in Lowell, Massachusetts, and at ICM’s research facility and pilot plant in St. Joseph, Missouri. The companies research will focus on scaling up fermentation, testing the viability of using ethanol-related streams as a fermentation feedstock, improving production economics and optimizing processes for different SCP products.

Larry Feinberg, CEO of KnipBio, says ICM is a “strategic fit” for their company. ICM’s “unrivaled knowledge” and being known as a world leader in fermentation process engineering will be “invaluable” as KnipBio moves toward commercial production. “ICM is a great strategic fit for us,” Feinberg says. “Bringing together ICM’s best-in-class fermentation know-how and KnipBio’s innovative biotechnology will allow us to dramatically accelerate our commercial plans.”

“ICM recognizes the potential of the alternative protein market and its importance for the future of ethanol,” Feinberg added.