How synthetic biology can eliminate pollutants in wastewater and soil

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Credit: Adam Arkin/NASA

Allonnia launched with $40 million in funding to engineer and commercialize microbes to eliminate pollutants in wastewater and soil.

“The waste problem is vast and growing, and impacts the health of our planet and everyone,” said Nicole Richards who joined Allonnia as CEO after a stint at Dupont. “Luckily, nature already uses microbes to break down waste. Allonnia will be accelerating and scaling natural processes to develop new breakthroughs and increase the efficiency of waste remediation.”

Allonnia is the third company to launch out of the Ferment Consortium, Ginkgo Bioworks’ $350 million investment vehicle leveraging biology to solve global challenges and transform established industries. Ferment Consortium companies Joyn Bio, Motif Foodworks, and now Allonnia will utilize Ginkgo’s foundry for biological engineering, its iterative codebase model, and an extensive industry network of partners and investors.

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Reducing waste could also increase efficiencies and boost profits. Taking a cue from nature – where there is no waste – manufacturers are beginning to look at their waste streams as potential assets.


The potential to treat industrial wastewater and land treatment, improve oil and gas processing, impact plastics degradation, and recycle consumer goods is worth hundreds of billions of dollars globally.

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