Microbial organisms are an impressive and under-appreciated bunch, and scientists and entrepreneurs alike are increasingly realizing their potential for cleaning up after our environmental messes.
ALIBIO, a small biotech company based in Mexico City, uses a bacteria known as bacillus subtilis to improve wastewater treatment systems in rural communities, increase septic tank efficiency, and digest effluents from slaughterhouses and pig farms, rendering them less pernicious. The company also has a line of agriculture products that clean irrigation water and enrich deteriorated soils, and an aquaculture line to immunize and protect shrimp against disease.With an investment of almost $1.5 million in 2003, ALIBIO generated $4 million in revenue in 2006. The company was selected as a Enterprise Portfolio finalist by New Ventures, a non-profit that identifies small and medium-sized enterprises in key emerging economies developing sustainable, marketable solutions. :: Via CNNExpansion.com
See also our coverage of other impressive microbial organisms, including those that feed on, and clean up, a variety of chlorinated compounds, solvents and PCBs.