Roebic Laboratories received US patents 6171847 and 6171848 on 9 January 2001 for its innovations, both titled 'enzyme-producing strains of bacillus bacteria.'

The bacteria produce lipase enzymes which can break down fats, proteins and starches into simpler molecules.

Others active in this field have been Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in the UK, Novo Nordisk A/S, Sybron Chemical Holdings, Inc., Institute of Gas Technology, Alcan International Limited and General Environmental Science.
Abstract (same for the two patents):

    This invention presents a newly discovered, novel strain of Bacillus bacteria that produces lipase enzymes for the degradation of oleaginous materials such as fats, greases and cooking oils, protease enzymes to degrade proteins and amylases to break down starch. This novel strain and the enzymes produced thereby have a number of applications, including wastewater treatments, agricultural uses, laundry and dish detergents, drain cleaners and spot removers, among others.

First (of 9 Claims) of the two patents:

  1. An isolated microorganism of the strain Bacillus ATCC 202133.

  1. An isolated microorganism of the strain Bacillus ATCC 202134.

By Navroz Havewala, correspondent