Impact of Production Bioreactor Scale on Cultivated Meat Techno-Economic Analysis
Food Innovation and Engineering Conference
Tuesday, December 6, 2022 - 2:50pm to 3:10pm
Increases in global meat demands cannot be sustainably met with current methods of livestock farming, which has a substantial impact on greenhouse gas emissions, land use, and water consumption. Cultivated meat (CM) is a rapidly advancing technology that produces meat products by proliferating and differentiating animal stem cells in bioreactors, avoiding conventional live-animal farming. While many companies are working in this area, there is a lack of existing infrastructure and experience at commercial scale, resulting in many technical bottlenecks such as scale-up of cell culture as well as media availability and costs. Computer based techno-economic models and analyses (TEAs) can help identify economic drivers/bottlenecks at scale. Currently available published TEAs are based on models in which the maximum cultivated meat bioreactor volume is less than 25 m3, however larger bioreactors will likely be required for the CM industry to reach economies of scale. In this study, we use the computer-aided process design software SuperPro Designer® to design alternative production facilities for production of unstructured bovine cells to meet a target of 100,000,000 kg of cultured beef per year. We evaluated the impact of production bioreactor size (ranging from 40 to 260 m3) and type (stirred tank versus airlift) on process economics to highlight improvements that can lower the cost of CM production systems.