Q: What was the reason for founding your organization – what was the open niche you saw that could be addressed with a new product or service? What was the problem, or gap, or opportunity?
The technology was developed to provide a way to address two growing problems that exist in both the developed and developing world. First, was the need to find a way to address the problems associated with waste biomass. The second was to deal with the growing need for a new source of protein. Both issues are multi-billion-dollar problems.
The technology rapidly converts waste cellulosic biomass (waste food and paper) into an animal-based protein using a process that has worked in nature for thousands of years. This technology converts waste into saleable protein products, creating a new revenue stream.
Q: Tell us about your organization. What do you do?
Integrated BioChem is a technology firm focused on the development and deployment of the Managed Ecosystem Fermentation (MEF) process. The MEF process produces protein, lipids, and enzymes that have applications in multiple industries. The primary application is the production of protein for nutrition in animal feed. The second product is lipids that have applications in pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and oleochemicals.
Q: What stage of development are you? Choose one:
Demonstration stage – proven at small, integrated scale, but not yet commercially available
Q: What do your technologies, products or services do and accomplish – how does it (they) work, who is it (they) aimed for?
The MEF technology converts food and paper waste into saleable proteins and lipids. Manufacturing facilities no longer pay for waste disposal, they are now environmentally friendly, and what was a cost is now a revenue line on the profit and loss statement. The industrial waste generator now has a technology that enables the converting the cost of disposal of the biomass into a revenue stream.
The process uses a multi-species culture of microbes to ferment cellulose, hemi-cellulose, carbohydrates and starch into a protein that can be used as a replacement for fishmeal. Fishmeal is currently valued at $1,500 per metric ton. The lipids produced are valued at $2,000 per metric ton.
Q: Competitively, what gives your technology, product or service set an edge in cost
or performance, sustainability, or any other aspect, that makes it stand out from the crowd, In short, what makes it transformative?
The MEF process works with a non-homogenous, non-sterile feedstock under non-sterile conditions to produce a dry, sterile, stable protein powder. It uses a multi-species ecosystem to drive the process. Once started it does not require reinoculation. By using a complete ecosystem, the process can rapidly adapt to changes in its feedstock and environment. The technology enables the use of plastic in the fermentation vessels and piping, which is less capital intensive than traditional fermentation equipment in which steel or stainless steel is used.
The process is 150 times faster than anaerobic digestion. The MEF process can process about 1 metric ton per cubic meter of fermentation vessel per day. The cost of nutrient mix to drive the process is about $2 per ton of food waste. The operating cost is estimated to be less than $600 per ton of product.
Q: What are the 3 top milestones you have accomplished in the past 3 years?
- 18 patents issued covering North America and Europe
- Successfully run the MEF technology at pilot plant scale
- Initiated partnership with European company specializing in sustainable products to bring the MEF process to Europe
Q: What are the 3 top milestones you will accomplish in the next 3 years?
- Build a demonstration facility
- License the technology in Europe
- License the technology in the US
- Where can I learn more about Integrated BioChem, LLC?