Blue Marble biotech business plans jobs expansion in Missoula

Blue Marble biotech business plans jobs expansion in Missoula

Published: JULY 5, 2011

From the Missoulian:

A Seattle-based biotechnology company expects its Missoula facility to be fully operational within the next month.

Blue Marble Biomaterials, located in the Missoula Development Park, takes agricultural waste and produces renewable chemicals for industrial use. These products are created when waste is fed to bacteria and then fermented into useable chemicals.

Blue Marble co-founder and CEO Kelly Ogilvie said the products the company manufactures will be used in food flavorings, fragrances and cosmetics.

The recent consumer demand for more natural and environmentally friendly products is something Blue Marble is hoping to capitalize on.

“The stuff we eat and the stuff we put on our skin and in our bodies, people care about,” Ogilvie.

Blue Marble started in Seattle as an alternative energy company, but has morphed into a biomaterials company.

Most consumer goods today are produced by using petroleum-based chemicals. But the refinement of petroleum products for consumer use creates significant pollution, said Ogilvie.

That’s why he believes Blue Marble’s alternatively produced chemicals are so attractive.

“We’re taking stuff that’s already in nature, this waste biomass that’s laying on farms or stuff that comes out of making beer or making coffee,” said Ogilvie. “We’re taking those agricultural residues and turning those things into very valuable petroleum-replacing chemicals.”

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