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The History of SCP Production


تاريخچه توليد  بیو پروتئین

The History of Single Cell Protein Production (SCP)

The production of single-cell protein is not a recent development in history. On the contrary, nature itself has for millions of years produced lots of it - maybe 1000 million tons annually on the basis of methane alone.

In this century, various governments, institutions and companies have spent large amounts of time and money on the development of an industrialised process that could do the same - produce single cell protein - cost efficiently on the basis of methanol.

SCP has been known for many years. It was an important part of the human and animal nutrition in Germany during World War I and II. Since the 1960's, SCP pro­duction on oil products and natur­al gas has been elucidated in a number of studies, due to the universal availability of large quan­tities of this raw material. Few of the studied processes have resulted in pro­duction plants, one reason being the oil crisis at the end of 1973 , and the subsequent price rise of petro­chemical raw material. The Soviet Union is an excep­tion, where more than a million tonnes of microbial protein was produced each year. The status now is that none of the eight factories are producing.



January 2002 marked the end of the first phase of project Nozzle-U-Loop fermentor at DTU (Danish Technical Universety). The major corporate events are summarised below


June 1982

The patent for metamorphic  bacteria strain M102 was acquired from Doctor M. Naguib  Max Planck Institute .

January 1985

Dansk  BioProtein  A/S was established by Mr Ebbe Busch Larsen.

March 1986

The first 200 grams of protein was produced.

July 1986

The first 500-litre fermentor  was put into operation.

October 1986

The first fermentor  was expanded to 800 litres.

November 1987

The operation of a 50-m3 production‑size fermentor.  started.

April 1988

The first successful feed trials were performed in Denmark.

May 1988

The Institute of Animal Nutrition of the University of Hollen­heim, Germany, approved the single‑cell protein as valuable protein source.

November 1989

Tests of U‑tube fermentor  with static mixers.

December 1993

The process was approved for R&D at the Technical University of Denmark.

June 1997

Experiments with U‑tube fermentor  with static mixers and 30 days test of the U-loop fermentor.

February 2000

Start of the optimisation project Nozzle-U-Loop fermentor at DTU based on methanol.

May 2002

The jet injection system patented by TofteJorg A/S is proven and will be industrialised into the Nozzle-U-loop fermentor.

December 2002

The Nozzle-U-Loop fermentor at DTU in production.


In 1985 the research effort was formalised by the establishment of Dansk BioProtein A/S, a Danish registered company supported by Danish universities and a group of business people represented by managing director Ebbe Busch Larsen.


On 25 May 1987, Hafslund Nycomed bought a position of B-shares with a 1/10 voting rights at DKK 20 mill.

During the fall of 1989, negotiations were initiated with the Norwegian State Oil Company, Statoil, Norsk Vekst A/S and Hafslund Nycomed A/S to obtain investment capital in return for an equity position. The negotiations were concluded with the sale of 51% of the company to the Norwegian Group leaving the Danish Group with 49%. 

The corporation was valued at DKK 250 mill. In total the Norwegians had now contributed DKK 137.5 mill.


Due to disagreements about the future business strategy the Norwegian investors bought out the Danish stockholders.

In 1995, the original Danish researchers and stock holders continued the project on their own with a further development of the present concept consisting of a Nozzle-U-Loop fermentor as described in the following.

Mr Ebbe Busch Larsen and the other Danish participants have neither any non-competition clauses nor legal obligations of any kind. The DTU does not have had any co-operation with the Norwegian Group ever since.

In 1998, Statoil established a production plant. The plant construction is a 300 m3 fermentor, established with horizontal fermentation.




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