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Spotlight Story

John Bissell
Co-founder, Micromidas

Biodegradable plastics from wastewater

John Bissell is the CEO and co-founder of Micromidas, Inc., an industrial biotechnology company that is converting municipal wastewater sludge into bio-degradable plastic.

Each day, millions of tons of useless plastic waste accumulate in the environment, sending landfills past capacity and playing a role in the ever-rising costs of garbage disposal.  MicroMidas has developed a process for converting organic waste streams like municipal waste water, agricultural and food waste, into pure-grade polyhydroxylalkanoate, a highly marketable biodegradable plastic.

The process consumes carbon and other nutrients from the waste stream that
would otherwise have to undergo such costly processes as incineration or
chemical treatment. The research and technology won first place in the 2008
U.S. EPA People, Prosperity, and Planet (P3) competition for sustainability.

Micromidas incorporated in 2009, after founders John Bissell, Casey McGrath and Kristin Matsumura attended the Green Technology Entrepreneurship Academy. It quickly secured seed funding to secure lab space and begin developing and testing the technology.

At Micromidas, John has helped raise $13 million in financing. The most recent round, in 2013, will enable Micromidas to build a demonstration-scale plant in West Sacramento to prove the viability of its technology.

John is an alumnus of the University California Davis where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering. He is also an alumnus of the Green Technology Entrepreneurship Academy, 2008.