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Turning a Scientific Discovery into a Business with CEO of CarbonNutra Carrine Blank

If you forgot to pick up your copy of Algal Research, you might have missed that microbiologist Carrine Blank made an important discovery in 2016 – namely, that the genome sequences of certain cyanobacterial species contained predicted chitin metabolizing genes. 

That’s right.

In this episode I take you on a wild scientific ride. If you took molecular biology, it will come in handy today!

This discovery allows Carrine to grow algae using products from 2 different waste streams:

  1. A polymer called chitin, which is a material used by crustaceans and mushrooms in their shells and cell wall structure.
  2. Waste water with dissolved phosphorus.

The algae turn all this into 2 viable market products:

  1. Astaxanthin, which can be used for its red dye or antioxidant properties.
  2. Biofuel, as a replacement for fossil fuel.

while cleaning the phosphorus from the water.

If you get lost in the science, don’t worry – I throw you a rescue line with a simple explanation of the whole system part-way through this conversation.

The implications of Carrine’s discovery are far-reaching — I thoroughly enjoyed hearing about this discovery, where she might take it, and what other developments and technologies may eventually spring from it.

What was your takeaway from this episode? Come share in the She Thinks Big private Facebook Group.  It’s free, and it’s the best place to be if your big ideas need airtime and support to grow.

Connect with Carrine:


Website |


Work with Geraldine:

Strategy Session

1:1 Coaching



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