A Nottingham scientist-turned-entrepreneur has developed an environmentally friendly process that takes industrial food waste destined for landfill and converts it into pure, safe and sustainable calcium carbonate.
Andrew Stacey, CEO of AVGO BIOTECH, has pioneered the ‘Rec-egg’ technique to upcycle waste eggshells, and has now launched a public crowdfunding initiative to raise funding to take the process out of the lab and into the real world.
The company is hoping to raise £25,000 crowdfunding to enable it to secure a process patent and set up a prototype upcycling factory in the East Midlands to take its process to market.
“Calcium carbonate is used across the food and pharmaceutical industries globally, and mining out of the ground is producing thousands of tonnes of greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming,” Andrew explains. “Even after it has been purified, this calcium carbonate retains traces of toxic heavy metals that can be harmful if consumed regularly.
“Eggshells are made up of more than 95 percent calcium carbonate, yet in the UK alone, 15,000 tonnes of eggshells from the food processing industry are discarded every year, leading to the generation of more than 63,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases.
“By exploring how we could solve these interdependent environmental issues, we created and developed a unique process that converts eggshells into food and pharma safe pure calcium carbonate. The concept ensures that our product is not only at par with the industry standard calcium carbonate but is also free of heavy metals.”
Each tonne of eggshells upcycled to produce AVGO CalciuMate prevents more than 4.5 tonnes of greenhouse gases from being released into the atmosphere. By commercially producing AVGO CalciuMate, AVGO BIOTECH could prevent the release of 70,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases every year.