Fri 30. Nov 2007 - Sat 12. Jan 2008
From Petroleum to Protein - 2007
American Sientific, October 1965, Issue 213, N° 4, Candida tropicalis, paraffin, glass bin, 25 x h.35 cm, from the Institut für Verfahrenstechnik, Umwelttechnik und Technische Biowissenschaften, TU Wien, Austria
Protein Production trough bacterial transformation of crude oil.
On BP's Lavera plant near Marseille an experimental plant was set up in the 1960's that should produce edible protein flour from crude oil trough a bacterial process. It was intended to solve the food supply problems in the prediction of a serious near future over population crises.
For a period this system was actually functioning and feeding tests were made on animals. The system was also used on the huge corporate farms in Russia. After years of testing the method was determined a failure because of the suspect that animals fed on the crude oil protein would develop cancer.
The "Scientific American" article from 1965 explains the procedure and what role the method could play within a global food crisis.
The oil crisis in 1973 and the cancer suspect finally stopped further development of this method.
A showcase containing an exemplar of the 1965 issue of Scientific American - with the first page of the article readable and a glass container with the bacteria Candida Tropocalis growing on an alkane paraffin (derived from diesel production) constitutes the work.