October 31, 2011

CEO Interview: Blue Marble Biomaterials

The blog was able to interview the CEO of Seattle-based Blue Marble BioMaterials Kelly Ogilvie and get to know the company. At first the blog compared Blue Marble BioMaterials (we'll call it BMB for short) to Allylix and Amyris as the company also aims to target the food, flavorings and cosmetic markets with their fermentation-based terpenes, organic acids and natural esters products.

The difference is BMB's use of waste feedstock specifically fermentation residues like spent grains from beer manufacture and spent coffee grounds. The company does not genetically modify bacteria but instead combines different species of bacteria and hybridize them to produce the molecules they want.

So here's how their AGATE (Acid, Gas, and Ammonia Targeted Extraction) process works: The feedstock go through emulsification, subcritical and supercritical extractions followed by a fermentation process which is a hybridization of up to 9 different varieties of molecules. One of the byproducts is hydrogen sulfide (H2S) production which is converted into mercaptans and thiols for food flavorings and personal care applications.

The waste stream undergoes pyrolysis and gasification creating syngas while fermentation and distillation produces natural esters and organic acids. Supercritical extraction meanwhile yields carotenoids, terpenes and oils.

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