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From beer sludge to fish flakes

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Andrew Logan has what every manufacturer craves: an endless source of free raw materials that his suppliers can't wait to dump and a market starving for his product.

Logan, a biologist in Idaho Springs, Colo., turns waste from breweries into a fish-food ingredient. His company, Oberon FMR, spent a decade refining a proprietary mixture of microbes trained to eat food-based wastewater. When dried, the bacteria become high-protein flakes for the booming $100 billion aquaculture industry.

"The opportunity is massive," says Logan, 38.

His suppliers agree. By law, breweries and foodmakers must find safe removal solutions for wastewater; hauling it away and composting it (or, in winter, storing it) can cost up to $3 million a year. Now Oberon takes it off companies' hands for free. With 65 million tons of seafood farmed for human consumption annually, fish farms are growing by an average of 9% a year and need a new kind of premium feed.
 
 

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