Decoupling Livestock from Land Use through Industrial Feed Production Pathways

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

116 Scopus Citations
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Author(s)

  • Ilje Pikaar
  • Silvio Matassa
  • Benjamin L. Bodirsky
  • Isabelle Weindl
  • Florian Humpenöder
  • Korneel Rabaey
  • Nico Boon
  • Michele Bruschi
  • Hannah Van Zanten
  • Mario Herrero
  • Willy Verstraete
  • Alexander Popp

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7351-7359
Journal / PublicationEnvironmental Science and Technology
Volume52
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2018
Externally publishedYes

Abstract

One of the main challenges for the 21st century is to balance the increasing demand for high-quality proteins while mitigating environmental impacts. In particular, cropland-based production of protein-rich animal feed for livestock rearing results in large-scale agricultural land-expansion, nitrogen pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions. Here we propose and analyze the long-term potential of alternative animal feed supply routes based on industrial production of microbial proteins (MP). Our analysis reveals that by 2050, MP can replace, depending on socio-economic development and MP production pathways, between 10-19% of conventional crop-based animal feed protein demand. As a result, global cropland area, global nitrogen losses from croplands and agricultural greenhouse gas emissions can be decreased by 6% (0-13%), 8% (-3-8%), and 7% (-6-9%), respectively. Interestingly, the technology to industrially produce MP at competitive costs is directly accessible for implementation and has the potential to cause a major structural change in the agro-food system. Copyright © 2018 American Chemical Society.

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Citation Format(s)

Decoupling Livestock from Land Use through Industrial Feed Production Pathways. / Pikaar, Ilje; Matassa, Silvio; Bodirsky, Benjamin L. et al.
In: Environmental Science and Technology, Vol. 52, No. 13, 03.07.2018, p. 7351-7359.

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review