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The Big BioPicture

Biomanufacturing is centered around using renewable resources and energy in an efficient manner. Efficiency means using processes that minimize waste and are complimentary so that one process enhances another. The following topics provide examples about how manufacturing will evolve during the 21st century to become more renewable resource-based and use more efficient energy practices. Exciting developments are on the way!


The basic process of fermentation utilizes microorganisms (bugs) such as yeasts, bacteria, and fungi to convert basic raw materials such as sugars into valuable products like foods, fuels and chemicals. Examples of fermentations that we are all familiar with include alcoholic beverages, vinegar, dairy products such as cheese and yogurt, and drugs such as penicillin. Microorganisms have the potential for producing numerous new products, but new strains and processes are necessary to achieve this end. That's where Working Bugs comes into the picture.

We also offer contract manufacturing services.  A critical step for the biotechnology industry is converting great ideas into practice--in other words, transitioning from research to production. Few contract fermentation companies exist for the production of food, bio-fuels and bio-chemicals. This is one of the niche markets that Working Bugs targets. We can work with your company to scale-up your fermentation process, adding the downstream separation processes, if needed, and help you reach your manufacturing goals.

What is a Bio-refinery??

A bio-refinery is the bio-based raw material equivalent to a petroleum refinery. Both are highly efficient becaus they produce a diverse range of products from a basic raw material. They take a raw material, separate it into components, and transform it into a whole range of products that have a much higher value than the initial raw material. Also, bio-refineries can use energy more efficiently by integrating the various energy uses and processes throughout the system.

Below are two short videos that explain how raw materials are used efficiently in bio-refining. The two raw materials are corn and trees, but bio-refineries can process many other renewable raw materials.

How do bio-refineries process corn?

How do bio-refineries process wood?