Blue Marble Energy

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Blue Marble Energy Corp.
Private company
Founded 2007
Headquarters Seattle, Washington
Key people
Colby Underwood
James Stephens

Blue Marble Energy, founded in 2007, is a U.S. based company which utilizes hybridized bacterial consortia to produce specialty biochemicals and renewable biogas. The company's mission is to provide sustainable, drop in replacement chemicals and solutions to targeted upstream and downstream stakeholders. They develop and generate these biochemicals from diverse, non-virgin cellulosic biomass streams. Blue Marble Biomaterials is a wholly owned subsidiary of Blue Marble Energy.


On August 25, 2011, Blue Marble Energy held their grand opening for their new Small Commercial Biorefinery located in Missoula, Montana. Missoula was chosen in part due to its rail transportation corridor, readily available green-collar workforce, and proximity to the University of Montana.[citation needed]. Blue Marble opened their Large Commercial Biorefinery (also in Missoula, MT) in September 2013 with a capacity of 1,000 metric tons (input) and 10,000 to 15,000 kg (final product output) per month. Blue Marble has publicly announced that they are working with several Fortune 500 companies to design and build a constellation of co-located facilities.


Blue Marble’s patented conversion system, Acid, Gas, and Ammonia Targeted Extraction (AGATE) uses non-genetically modified bacteria. It can process a wide variety of organic biomass feedstocks. A single fermentation contains multiple strains of bacteria which specialise in the breakdown of different feedstocks. The resulting consortia of different bacteria "perform well in high nitrogen environments and can withstand shocks to the system (such as changes in pH, temperature, and feedstock). This allows AGATE to process nearly any organic biomass: food waste, yard waste, spent brewery grain, algae, milfoil, corn silage, etc. AGATE can handle both fresh and wet feedstock, and can be adjusted to meet changing economic opportunities and market needs.".[1] Through anaerobic digestion and fermentation, the AGATE platform manipulates microbial environments to produce esters, amides, anhydrous ammonia, and rich biogas.[2]

Algae Harvesting[edit]

In the past, Blue Marble Energy participated in aquatic remediation efforts for the Puget Sound and other waterways around Seattle in an effort to repair damaged ocean ecology damaged by harmful algae blooms and invasive species. This water cleanup may be extended to sewage treatment plants and mine sites in the future.[3]



  • Green Vision Energy, LLC, is formed.
  • Green Vision Energy conducts research and development on algal fermentation and digestion systems.


  • Blue Marble Energy is founded.
  • Blue Marble Energy’s anaerobic digester platform, AGATE (Acid, Gas and Ammonia Targeted Extraction), is developed and feedstock and product testing begins.
  • Two patents are filed in the US, UK and Japan for proprietary fermentation system.


  • Blue Marble Energy discovers that AGATE produces high-value chemicals in addition to fuel and biogas.
  • Washington State Department of Ecology awards Blue Marble Energy a contract to harvest toxic algae blooms from Puget Sound. The algae is converted to fuel precursors and biochemicals in a Seattle pilot facility.
  • Blue Marble Energy launches pilot facility in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle, WA. The facility is designed to process three tons of biomass per month and demonstrate scaling from bench to pilot scale.


  • Blue Marble Energy partners with Fremont Brewing Company to demonstrate the utility of beer brewing byproducts in the AGATE system.
  • Blue Marble Energy Corporation successfully closes $2 million Series A financing with angel investors.
  • Blue Marble Energy partners with Sweet Anthem perfumery to develop EOS Eau de Parfum, demonstrating Blue Marble Energy’s biochemical application in the fragrance and personal care sectors.


  • Blue Marble Biomaterials, LLC, is launched to further development of core technologies to focus on renewable chemicals.
  • Memorandum of Understanding is signed with major US flavoring house, signaling intent to buy a product at marked price.
  • Memorandum of Understanding is signed with major US chemical distributor to buy and supply several Blue Marble Biomaterials renewable biochemicals on a global platform.
  • Blue Marble Biomaterials is awarded a grant from the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation to remodel the facility for new innovation processes.
  • Opened Small Commercial Biorefinery in Missoula, MT. The facility is designed to process 100 metric tons of biomass per month.


  • Finish retrofitting Missoula facility to reuse all by-products and produce zero waste.
  • Launched Ground Up Recycling Program to direct coffee grounds from regional sources into the Missoula facility for extraction and fermentation products.


  • Blue Marble Biomaterials opens Large Commercial Biorefinery facility launched in Q4, 2012.

In the media[edit]

  • Blue Marble Energy was recognized, out of a survey of 1400 companies, as one of the 100 Hottest Companies in Bioenergy for 2009 by Biofuels Digest.[4]


External links[edit]