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BioLargo seeking 'to make life better' when it comes to clean water, clean air, and health

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  • Targets solid waste, wastewater, industrial odor, advanced wound-care and distinfectant markets
  • Clyra Medical unit has applied its technology to the coronavirus pandemic with public sales of its disinfectant spray 
  • Flagship product CupriDyne Clean marketed to cannabis producers seeking odor elimination
  • Working with US EPA to develop system to remove harmful ‘forever chemicals’ from drinking water

What BioLargo does:

BioLargo Inc (OTCQB:BLGO) is an environmental engineering company with a simple mission: “To make life better” when it comes to clean water, clean air and good health.

The company, based in Westminster, California, has developed several innovative and patented products targeted at three markets: water and wastewater treatment, industrial odor and volatile organic compounds (VOC) elimination, and advanced wound care. 

BioLargo operates four subsidiaries: Odor-No-More Inc, BioLargo Water Inc, BioLargo Engineering, Science & Technologies Inc (BLEST) and Clyra Medical Technologies Inc. 

The Odor-No-More division’s main product is CupriDyne Clean Industrial Odor and VOC Eliminator, which is aimed at the solid waste/landfill/compost, wastewater, and oil & gas industries. The product eliminates odor-causing compounds rather than masking them.

The BioLargo Water division develops the Advanced Oxidation System (AOS), an industrial water treatment technology designed to eliminate waterborne pathogens and recalcitrant contaminants with better energy-efficiency and lower operational costs than current technologies. 

The BioLargo Engineering division piggybacks on BioLargo Water by offering consulting and engineering services for the water and wastewater treatment industries. It also conducts environmental and Occupational Safety and Health Administration workplace-safety compliance audits.

The engineering division, along with the Odor-No-More unit, is targeting cannabis companies to adopt the company’s CupriDyne Clean product, which eliminates the strong, pungent odors and VOCs emitted during growing and production. BioLargo cites some 15,000 cannabis production sites in California as potential customers. 

The Clyra Medical unit – in which BioLargo owns a minority 45% interest via a subsidiary – develops medical products to safely treat chronic wound infections and promote healing while reducing the need for antibiotic  based on BioLargo’s technologies through a license agreement calling for 6% royalty payments. 

Clyra is advancing with its stem-therapy technology called SkinDisc that uses a patient’s own bone marrow and plasma to help heal chronic wounds. The division also has US Food and Drug Administration clearance to market its Clyra Wound Irrigation Solution product for cleansing, irrigating, and debriding dermal wounds and burns.

The subsidiary has also taken its wound-healing technology and applied it to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the form disinfectant products, including Clyraguard personal spray, a hospital-grade, FDA-registered germicide that can be easily applied on the go without having to remove a mask. The spray has been proven to deliver 99.999% antimicrobial efficacy against viruses, bacteria and fungi and demonstrated complete inactivation of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

How is it doing: 

BioLargo said on April 22, 2021, that it had achieved a “critical technical milestone” in the development and commercialization of its Aqueous Electrostatic Concentrator (AEC), which eliminates a toxic soup of chemicals from water.  The chemicals, resistant to breaking down in the environment, are known as per and fluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS. According to media reports, some have been linked to cancers, liver damage, low birth weight and other health problems.

The company said its subsidiary BioLargo Engineering, Science & Technologies Inc (BLEST) has “succeeded in modifying the AEC to extend the useful lifespan of its specialized membranes, which are a crucial component of the technology.” This has improved the operating and maintenance metrics for the technology, potentially reducing the frequency of membrane replacement by a factor of six, said the company.

On January 9, BioLargo revealed that it had completed manufacturing of its first-ever, commercial-scale AOS water treatment unit, which was being shipped to a municipal wastewater treatment plant near Montreal for a pilot project. The company said the pilot is to be run independently by water treatment technology experts from the world-renowned Centre des Technologies de l’Eau (CTE) in Montreal and will provide real-time data of AOS performance in a municipal wastewater stream. 

The unit shipped can treat up to 100 gallons per minute of municipal wastewater, and will eliminate bacteria, viruses, and other organisms. As a modular design, it can easily be scaled up by adding modules to treat whatever volumes are needed to manage required wastewater streams for the customer, the company said.

Meanwhile, at the end of January, BioLargo told investors that it was preparing for commercial trials for its AEC water technology as soon as possible after new testing showed it could remove 99.9% of PFAS, the so-called “forever chemicals,” from water in just a single pass.  Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a class of man-made chemical contaminants found in various products such as cookware and electronics. They do not break down easily in the environment or in humans and are associated with serious health problems.

Testing at the University of Tennessee showed that PFAS compounds are attracted and bound to the surface of the AEC’s proprietary membranes, which in a single pass collect over 99.995%, such that less than one out of 50,000 PFAS molecules was able to penetrate the membrane, said the company.

At the end of February, the company noted that the US President Joe Biden’s new administration had decided to create a national standard for what concentration of these chemicals will meet the threshold for regulatory action when found in drinking water supplies, and will now start the process of regulating the chemicals through the Safe Drinking Water Act. BioLargo pointed out that the Biden administration has also given advance notice that it may designate PFAS as federally-regulated hazardous substances and/or regulated hazardous waste.

The company said these actions have set off a long-anticipated race for municipalities across the country to identify and adopt water treatment systems that effectively and affordably remove the hard-to-treat chemicals from drinking water. According to the company, in some areas of the US, such as Southern California, municipalities are already actively installing PFAS treatment systems as federal regulations go into effect.  

BioLargo said it plans to roll out its AEC PFAS water treatment solution in pilots and commercial trials at municipalities in Southern California and the Midwest over the next year.

Also in February, BioLargo revealed that it had teamed up with Garratt-Callahan Company, a national industrial water treatment company, to co-create and develop a wastewater treatment product that will salvage usable water from commercial facilities wastewater streams. The group said the shared goal is to design and manufacture a new piece of wastewater treatment equipment centered around a new patented water treatment process developed by Garratt-Callahan to reduce wastewater discharged from commercial facilities.

BioLargo’s engineering division will design, build and pilot a prototype of the new system. When refined, the two organizations have agreed to offer the system commercially to Garratt-Callahan customers and select BioLargo distributors, with BioLargo serving as the equipment’s ongoing manufacturer. The collaborative team targets having full-scale units in operation in mid to late 2021 or early 2022.

In the same month, away from its engineering division, BioLargo announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary ONM Environmental had acquired a deodorizing and sanitizing technology called EcoMist, which helps raise the customer-care bar for solid waste collectors to treat all types of waste receptacles in real-time during pick up.  The company noted that EcoMist is a device installed directly onto any waste collection vehicle that automatically sprays odor control products and/or sanitizer into refuse bins or dumpsters during the waste collection process. ONM plans to test-market the product directly with its major solid waste handling customers, by packaging it with its popular odor and VOC (volatile organic compounds) control product CupriDyne Clean.

On the financials front, on May 17  BioLargo had revealed that its balance sheet is improving as it also announced that it is working with prospective partners to plan and schedule as soon as possible the first commercial pilots for its AEC technology.

BioLargo also said its engineering-project backlog grew to a value of over $2 million that will be executed over the next 12-18 months. Also helping the company’s finances are higher first-quarter revenues. For the three months ended March 31, 2021, BioLargo said it generated consolidated revenue of $571,000, a 30% increase compared to the prior-year period. Moreover, due in large part to an almost 90% decrease in interest expense as a result of payment and conversion of debt instruments, the company said its net loss for those three months decreased by 28% as compared to the prior 2020 period

On March 31, 2021, BioLargo had posted its full-year 2020 financial results that saw its consolidated revenue rise by 31% year-over-year as its cleantech technologies gained commercial traction. For the year ended December 31, 2020, the company reported consolidated revenue of $2.43 million, a 31% increase compared to annual revenue in the year ended December 31, 2019. Meanwhile, for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2020, BioLargo generated around $900,000 in revenue, a 36% increase compared to the third quarter of 2020.

Inflection points:

  • Further news on commercialization of AEC water treatment solution
  • News on pilot projects for AOS water treatment system
  • Progress on Garratt-Callahan Company venture

What the boss says:

In the April 22 statement announcing the “critical technical milestone” in the development and commercialization of the company’s Aqueous Electrostatic Concentrator , BioLargo CEO Dennis P Calvert said: “With this advancement to the AEC’s design, our next step is commercial trials. We can now finalize the details of several trials at municipalities on the West Coast and in the American Midwest as well as a major federal government organization.”

“BioLargo Engineering is already working to build the demonstration units for those projects. We believe the success of these initial pilot projects will provide the commercial validation data that will convince state authorities to adopt the technology en masse,” he added.

Contact the author at [email protected]

Story by ProactiveInvestors


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