Windfall Bio harnesses microbes to convert methane into eco-friendly fertilizer

Windfall Bio, a pioneering startup, has announced the successful completion of a $28mn funding round that would help to combat methane pollution and promote sustainable agriculture. The company aims to commercialize a novel technology that utilizes microbes to convert methane, a potent greenhouse gas, into nitrogen-rich fertilizers.

Methane, a greenhouse gas with a warming potential 86 times greater than carbon dioxide over a 20-year period, currently contributes approximately 30% to global warming. Windfall Bio’s innovative approach provides a sustainable solution by capturing methane emissions from sources such as dairy farms, landfills, oil wells, and wetlands, and converting them into valuable fertilizers.

Josh Silverman, CEO and co-founder of Windfall Bio, emphasized the often-overlooked role of methane in fueling climate change and the lack of funding for mitigation efforts. “The role of methane in fueling global warming doesn’t get as much attention as it should, and efforts to mitigate this driver of climate change aren’t funded in the same way that carbon dioxide-focused efforts are,” Silverman said.

The startup’s proprietary technology harnesses the natural ability of microorganisms found in soil to consume methane. By combining various methane-eating microbes, Windfall Bio has created a potent cocktail capable of efficiently capturing methane from various sources. At dairy farms, for instance, farmers can direct methane-rich manure lagoon emissions into a tank containing these microbes.

As the microbes feed on the methane, they produce nitrogen-rich fertilizers that can be applied directly to support plant growth. Windfall Bio claims that its fertilizers can be obtained at half the cost of conventionally produced nitrogen fertilizers, offering an economically viable and eco-friendly alternative.

Furthermore, the company’s technology addresses the issue of overcultivated soils by allowing farmers to introduce the microbes directly into the soil, replenishing nitrogen levels and promoting soil health.

By capturing methane emissions and converting them into valuable fertilizers, Windfall Bio not only contributes to mitigating climate change but also supports sustainable agriculture practices. With the successful funding round, the startup is poised to commercialize its innovative technology, potentially revolutionizing the way we address methane pollution and fertilizer production.

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