I recently had the pleasure of meeting, Belgium based Novobiom, a pioneering company founded on the conviction that taking inspiration from Nature is the best way to protect and restore it.
Caroline Zaoui and Jean-Michel Scheuren, microbiology wizards and experts in applied mycology, emulate the way natural ecosystems have self-engineered efficient processes to provide the actors from the environmental sector with innovative and environmentally friendly waste treatment solutions.
Their first challenge is to provide a biological alternative to the treatment of complex the soil pollution.
They rely on a custom-built innovative biotechnology platform that uses low-grade green waste to perform an environmentally friendly soil remediation process called mycoremediation.
Wood-decay fungi for example, have the remarkable ability to degrade the most recalcitrant molecules produced in nature, such as wood lignin. It has been discovered that those mushrooms produce enzymes that are also able to degrade recalcitrant man-made chemicals, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), heavy mineral oil hydrocarbons (C10-C40) and other toxic xenobiotics.
This unique approach links two distinct supply chains, the soil remediation sector and the urban green waste treatment, into an impactful, circular and economically sound remediation solution.
Over the past 5 years, they have created a large bank of fungal strains to match treatments of different types of soil pollution, have completed successful pilots on projects over 100 tones of contaminated soil.
This is extremely exciting for the future of industrial mycoremediation, but as founders have shared, there is still a lot of experimentation to be done before the technology is ready to scale and applicable in a variety of contaminated soils.
Check them out:
⌭ @novobiom (LinkedIn)