Loamist's CEO

Andy Miller

Loamist's COO

Pete Christensen

Their five-year friendship and parallel research culminated in uniting their skills for a shared mission. They identified waste biomass as the key to circular materials but faced the challenge of a nonexistent supply chain for mass production. Addressing this, Pete and Andy shifted focus to enhancing access to waste biomass, driving the Bioeconomy. Pete combines his academic expertise and startup experience, while Andy’s diverse background spans engineering, product management, and design. They’re on a mission to bridge the gap in the biomass supply chain, leveraging their unique blend of skills to make the circular economy a reality.
It began with a serendipitous email. Andy, was leading R&D at a sustainable menstrual care company and was in search of more sustainable materials when he discovered an article by Pete on infinitely recyclable plastics in Nature and reached out.  Pete, freshly minted with a Chemistry PhD and working at LBL, had just invented an infinitely recyclable plastic. “Andy was talking about biomass when we met back in 2018. Andy is the kind of rare innovator that can think clearly 10 years into the future, but has the ability to create action now. I’m so glad he reached out when he did. Thinking back, Loamist started when we met for lunch in Oakland 5 years ago.” Pete, COO and co-founder of Loamist, recalls.
Biomass detail
Circular Economy
Earth historically existed in equilibrium, with interconnected systems resembling Buckminster Fuller's "Spaceship Earth". Natural processes like rain and carbon cycling sustained this balance. However, modern industrial activities, notably fossil fuel extraction, disrupt this harmony by emitting excessive carbon, leading to climate change. Global efforts focus on reducing fossil fuel use and implementing carbon sequestration to offset emissions. Pete Christensen, raised in rural Wisconsin and co-founder of Loamist, experienced the balance of nature firsthand. His upbringing influenced his pursuit of a PhD in Chemistry, where he studied the efficiency of plants in capturing energy and carbon, recognizing the potential of biomass as a sustainable energy source.
Biomass Potential
Waste biomass, comprising parts of plants and forest trimmings, is often overlooked despite its abundance. Globally, approximately 8 billion tons of biomass are wasted annually, with 550 million tons in the United States alone. Andy, known for recognizing overlooked opportunities, sees waste biomass as a valuable resource for clean energy, aiming to replace fossil fuels. He notes the increasing demand for Renewable Diesel, Sustainable Aviation Fuel, and Green Hydrogen, which will require 10 billion tons of waste biomass.
Globally, 2 billion metric tons of biomass residues (from forestry and agriculture) are burned, contributing to 18% of global CO2 emissions. Another 1 billion metric tons from yard waste, urban demolition, and food waste end up in landfills, generating 11% of global methane emissions.  Utilizing biomass as a feedstock can offset emissions and generate carbon credits for long-term storage, making it a valuable asset in carbon accounting and sustainability efforts.
Biomass feedstocks will be pivotal in the transition to a low-carbon economy, fueling low-carbon industry that will emerge over the next 10 - 20 years. By 2050, demand for biomass might outstrip supply. In transportation, biomass will be used to make renewable diesel (RD) and green hydrogen to run our trucks and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) to decarbonize flight.. Biomass can also be used to manufacture commodity plastics, cement and steel. Additionally, fermentable sugars from waste biomass offer a low-cost non-food competing feedstock for synthetic biology, for making low-carbon chemicals, pharmaceuticals and materials. 
The Challenge
Despite its abundance, low cost and widespread utility, waste biomass remains largely inaccessible. The supply chain for biomass is not well established, and many challenges exist for customers looking to locate, let alone use this abundant resource. Simply locating this material is a challenge, and locating this material quickly and repeatedly in new locations is important to scale the Bioeconomy. The Biden administration has recognized this in their recent Vision, Needs, and Proposed Actions for Data for the Bioeconomy Initiative. After five years of friendship and independent circular economy research, Pete and Andy decided to combine their efforts full time towards accelerating the bioeconomy Blending Andy’s product and engineering background with Pete’s scientific understanding, the two ran the numbers, and quickly identified waste biomass as the most promising path to a functioning circular bioeconomy. The problem was, these materials weren’t economical to mass produce because the supply chain for these materials did not exist yet. So Pete and Andy decided to tackle the bigger mission: how do we enable the Bioeconomy by increasing access to waste biomass. This is where companies like Loamist come into play, acting as a bridge in the biomass supply chain, filling in data gaps with innovative software. 
who we are
Pete is an Activate Fellow and published scientist in Science and Nature and second time startup founder. Pete brings a strong academic foundation to his work. Andy brings to the team a closet full of hats as an engineer, product manager, designer, startup executive, and founder. He understands deeply broad swaths of launching and landing products learned from several world’s first and award winning, category leading products with millions of units sold. His work has been featured in NYT, Vogue, WIRED, CNN, Forbes and he holds 17 patents.