Cleveland biotech firm is helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions
Locus Fermentation Solutions is a cutting-edge biotech company in Northeast Ohio you've probably never heard of.
- The firm manufactures biological organisms to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Since its founding in 2013, it has raised a staggering $250 million on the strength of its 1,300 patents.
Why it matters: Locus employs close to 100 scientists, engineers, administrators and executives at its headquarters in Solon.
- Recent investment facilitated its expansion from 50,000 to 150,000 square feet of office and manufacturing space, with plans for additional growth to satisfy demand.
The big picture: Industries around the world are striving to lower their carbon footprints as climate change accelerates and governments set emissions targets.
Flashback: As part of a sweeping climate change agenda, President Joe Biden last year signed an executive order to advance domestic biomanufacturing.
What they're saying: "It really brought to light this idea of biologicals replacing chemicals and the fact that there aren't enough producers globally," Teresa DeJohn, Locus' director of marketing and public relations, tells Axios.
- "We're already doing that successfully with a patented approach right here in Cleveland.
How it works: Locus uses fatty acid, sugar and yeast to ferment bespoke organisms that can replace or reduce chemicals across multiple industries.
- "Cosmetics, paints and coatings, textiles. Wherever petroleum-based [chemicals] are used, we have a biological that we believe is as good or better," CEO and founder Andy Lefkowitz tells Axios. "And it's certainly greener."
For example: Locus makes a biochemical that allows copper to be mined without having to grind rock down to fine grain — increasing the mineral yield while decreasing the energy required to extract it.
The bottom line: "We're going to large companies and saying, 'We can help you replace forever chemicals and help you make more money by reducing your costs,'" Lefkowitz says.
- "And by the way, we will help you achieve your carbon neutrality goals more quickly than you ever thought possible."
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