Terra Biologics, LLC develops a technology designed to restore soil fertility, retain water and reduce erosion. The technology exploits photosynthetic microorganisms, called cyanobacteria or “blue-green algae,” which convert solar energy and soil nutrients to store chemical energy and fix atmospheric nitrogen. The company was founded in 2012 and is based in St. Louis, Missouri.
The task of restoring soils disturbed by wildfire and oil and gas exploration is a challenging proposition. The major limiting factors are water, nitrogen availability and soil erosion. Current practices include the application of tackifiers, chemical fertilizers, seeds, and mulch. If inadequate precipitation or poor nutrient status prevents the establishment of vascular plants, these soil amendments are often reapplied, creating additional expense and extending the time required for restoration.