String Bio, a biotech innovator, and Woodside Energy Technologies Pty Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of global energy company Woodside Energy Group Ltd (Woodside), have signed a strategic development agreement on the potential production of sustainable protein ingredients from greenhouse gases.

Parallelly, Woodside has also announced an investment in String’s Series B equity raise, subject to conditions precedent, to further develop String’s methane-based technology platform.

A statement said the new and existing investors, including Ankur Capital, Dare Ventures, Redstart, Zenfold Ventures and others, have joined the first closure of $20 million of the Series B funding

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s AR6 report, methane traps around 27 times the amount of heat in the atmosphere as carbon dioxide and is responsible for a third of the global warming.

Reducing methane emissions is one of the fastest opportunities to slow the rate of global warming. Agriculture and oil and gas industry together account for 70 per cent of methane emissions. Adoption of emerging technologies can be critical to enabling net zero by 2050.

Contribution to circular economy

The statement said the investment in this technology is an example of the energy and biotechnology sectors working toward a more sustainable future, advancing a technology that could contribute to a circular carbon economy.

It said String Bio has built an innovative technology platform that leverages advances in biology, fermentation technology, chemistry and process engineering to convert the energy in methane into diverse value-added products. Products enabled by String’s platform range from protein ingredients for nutrition, to innovative crop inputs, to products for biodegradable polymers.

Quoting the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Woodside Energy, Meg O’Neill, the statement said the company aimed to thrive through the energy transition with a resilient and diversified portfolio.

“Our investment in String Bio builds on our ability to potentially abate greenhouse gases through the conversion of carbon into useful products. We believe String Bio’s technology could eventually be used to recycle methane at Woodside facilities. It could also be deployed at third-party sites with available bio-methane such as landfill facilities and farms,” she said.

Vinod Kumar, Co-Founder and Managing Director of String Bio, said: “Our fundamental ethos is to enable supply and establish demand for our diverse product portfolio. The partnership with Woodside will be a defining milestone to enable carbon-friendly products in the global marketplace.”

Ezhil Subbian, Co-Founder and CEO of String Bio, said the vision for String has been to leverage cutting edge advances in biotechnology to enable better living at significantly reduced environmental footprint.

“With the Woodside collaboration and Series B raise, we are taking a giant step forward to bring such solutions to market—solutions that are better for people and the planet,” Subbian said.