US Microbics

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US Microbics, Inc.
HeadquartersCarlsbad, California
Key people
George Robinson, Founder
Robert Brehm, CEO
Mery Robinson, COO
Bruce Beattie, SSWM CEO
Conrad Nagel, CFO
Productsbioremediation, waste management, fertilizer
RevenueDecrease $514,384 USD (2006)
Number of employees

U.S. Microbics is a biotech holding company. Nicknamed "Bugs", it owns several subsidiaries that utilize its patented microbe technology. Bugs is notable because it is the first U.S. based corporation to build a business around the various commercial uses for microorganisms.

Bugs, engages through its subsidiaries in the development, manufacture, and sale of engineered bioremediation solutions for cleanup of toxic waste releases to soil and groundwater primarily in the United States and Mexico. The company operates through two divisions, USM Solutions and USM Capital Group, Inc.

The USM Solutions division provides proprietary microbial technologies that provide natural solutions to various environmental problems. Its microbes or "bugs" are used to break down various hydrocarbon substances, including oil, diesel fuel, MTBE, Perchloroethylene (PCE), toxic waste, and certain water and soil contamination. This division also provides civil and environmental engineering project management services, including specialists to design, permit, build, and operate environmental waste clean-up treatment systems using conventional, biological, and filtration technologies. It is also involved in the bio-recycling of spent activated carbon filtration media. Further, the USM Solutions division provides ex situ treatment services using its Bio-Raptor system in conjunction with its custom microbial blends, providing direct technical engineering consultation.

The USM Capital Group assists in financing and developing environmental companies desiring to go public. It provides management consulting, administrative, and investor relations services. Bug’s technology is used in the applications of environmental, manufacturing, agricultural, and natural resource markets. USM Capital markets the products and services directly to private and governmental customers, as well as through sales agents and joint venture partners.

US Microbics incorporated in 1997 after purchasing the proprietary microbial technology from biofirm XyclonyX. US Microbics is headquartered in Carlsbad, California.


George Robinson[edit]

The process of bioremediation was invented by George M. Robinson. While serving as the assistant county petroleum engineer for Santa Maria, California, he spent his spare time experimenting with dirty jars and the abandoned oil sumps of the Cat Canyon Oil Field. Throughout the 1960s Robinson pioneered the idea of making custom mixtures of dried bacteria cultures for commercial use. His "bug-brew" recipes subsequently gained acceptance and notoriety after several well publicized demonstrations.

Robinson’s application of microbic technology for the hospitality industry ranged from the pioneering cleanout of the fuel holding tanks on the RMS Queen Mary during its "transplant" as a Long Beach tourist attraction in the 70’s, to the grease trap maintenance for odor and grease buildup at the world famous Pea Soup Anderson Restaurant (in Buellton, California), to the Buellton Wild Animal Park’s odor and runoff control. The municipal sewer treatment plant, too, had its share of microbe-miracles during those early days of bioaugmentation, since a local ordinance required dischargers to control and reduce their input to the local plant and, hence, the discharge zone (river) until a newer and larger municipal sewage treatment plant could be completed. The plant not only serviced the Buellton community but also the scenic community of Solvang, California. Robinson’s so-called "bug-brew" enabled the tourist-dependent community to maintain an ever-expanding tourist base, control their restaurants’ waste generation, and meet water quality standards until the new treatment plant could be completed.

George Robinson had the distinction of engineering the first full-scale commercial microbial clean-up of an oil spill in 1968, municipal sewage bioaugmentation in 1967, septic tank and leach field treatment as early as 1965, as well as odor and flying pest and larval control in the animal feedlot and agricultural processing industry in 1964.

Bugs goes public[edit]

Typical application of biodispersant to remediate an oil spill

On August 30, 1997 US Microbics went public and began building an environmental conglomerate. Bugs acquired the proprietary technology, patents, and microbial culture collection from Robinson’s daughter, Dr. Mery Robinson through her biotech company, XyclonyX. The company’s goal was to use the proprietary microbial technology, patents and unique culture collection to build the foundation for the international commercialization of this previously successful and valuable technology.

USM Solutions developed an organizational structure of multiple subsidiaries, which divides the organization into distinct units for proprietary bug production, R&D, licensing & patent protection, and sales organizations licensed to sell and sublicense microbial products and processes to specific market segments. In this manner, BUGS, as the public holding company, can orchestrate the deployment of the environmental technology to owned subsidiaries who in turn license the technology or sell products to end users.

In September 1998, US Microbics leased a 22,000-square-foot (2,000 m2) facility in Carlsbad, California. This building houses the subsidiaries. Bug's current holdings include the West Coast Fermentation Center, the R&D facility of XyclonyX, Bio-Con Microbes, Wasteline Performance Corporation, and the operations of the subsidiary formerly known as Sub-Surface Waste Management. These BUGS subsidiary company names are the same as those used by Mr. Robinson.

In 2008, a majority-owned subsidiary of US Microbics, Green Mountain Development Corp. began operations as a "green" incubator when Sub-Surface Waste Management of Delaware, Inc. changed its name, its business focus, and its stock ticker from SSWM to GMND on the Pink Sheets. Green Mountain Development Corp. assists early-stage environmental product and/or service providers, particularly in their quest to become a public trading public company, or alternatively to go from being a public company to becoming a privately owned corporation. In support of these business growth-oriented transformations, Green Mountain Development Corp. provides guidance, bridge financing, and support services.

US Microbics services customers in the bioremediation, agricultural, and waste treatment markets. Typical customers include contractors, insurance companies, petrochemical manufacturers, landfill operators, farmers, nurseries, food processors, restaurants, municipalities, state and federal governments, golf courses, water districts, fisheries, and dry cleaners. Bugs provides customers with solutions to problems of requiring "better-faster-cheaper" waste treatment, increased food production and lower water and natural resource consumption. The company licenses its patented technology, manufacturers and sells its proprietary blends to licensees, and educates and trains people on the proper use and application of its products.

Associated Patents[edit]

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