Biotech start-up aims to lift soil organic carbon and boost farm productivity
Microbial treatment for seeds improves soil health
Loam Bio is developing a biotechnology to improve the drought resilience of farming land, increase productivity and remove carbon from the atmosphere.
Even small increases in organic carbon levels in soil can reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide and increase agricultural productivity. Carbon is difficult to store in soils in the long-term, it naturally reacts with oxygen or water and is released back into the atmosphere. Our technology aims to overcome this by storing the carbon in more stable forms.Guy HudsonCo-founder and CEO, Loam Bio.
The CEFC has committed $5.8 million through the Clean Energy Innovation Fund. It is the first CEFC investment in bio-sequestration and follows a previous $8 million cornerstone investment in the $30 million Tenacious Ventures Fund.
The microbial treatment for seeds has the potential to increase the level of organic carbon in soil, enabling it to retain more water and improving the ability of crops to withstand extreme weather conditions. It could also reduce the amount of nitrogenous fertiliser used in agricultural production, further reducing emissions. In addition, the Loam Bio technology could offer another source of revenue for farmers through carbon offset trading.
Retaining organic carbon in soil is vital for extensive agricultural systems. Carbon is difficult to store in soils in the long term because it naturally reacts with oxygen or water and is released back into the atmosphere. The Loam Bio technology aims to overcome this by storing the carbon in melanin, which is more stable.
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