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New Jersey got a first-hand look at the devastation caused by oil spills when a rip in the hull of the Athos I oil tanker damaged 119 miles of shoreline along the Delaware River.

For Satya Ganti and his coworkers at Sarva Bio Remed, that November 2004 spill proved the time and effort spent developing their bioremediation product was worthwhile. Although the young company did not participate in the clean-up effort, the event confirmed the need for their technology.

“Where there is oil, there is going to be a spill,” explained Ganti, president and CEO of the six-year-old company.

Sarva Bio Remed, a tenant of the Trenton Business and Technology Center business incubator, holds the patent on a biodispersion process and developed their first product SpillRemed (Marine) containing a large count of naturally occurring oil-degrading microbes isolated from the waters of Prince William Sound, Alaska – the site of the infamous Exxon Valdez accident. These microbes consume hydrocarbons (such as oil and associated fumes) quickly and effectively. Once the oil is consumed, the microbes die a natural death without leaving behind any residue for disposal.

The company has developed seven application-based products. BilgeRemed, has been successfully field-tested for cleaning oily bilge water that accumulates in ships. Another product VaporRemed has proved effective for eliminating heating oil spills for homeowners.

Moving into the Trenton business incubator has been crucial to Sarva Bio Remed’s success, Ganti said. Having a business address in Trenton helped Sarva Bio Remed come to the attention of state economic development officials who invited Ganti on international trade missions. Today, Sarva Bio Remed has customers and distributors in both South America and the Middle East.

“That could never have happened without the incubator,” Ganti said.

In addition, Ganti’s company has been using the laboratory space of a neighboring start-up company in the incubator. Sharing the lab space helped Sarva Bio Remed save money and has led to a potential business partnership, Ganti said.

“The incubator has been a very good place for us,” Ganti said.

But Ganti – like many entrepreneurs – is not content with today’s success. In 2005, Ganti plans to expand his company’s marketing efforts and to explore biotechnology applications and other value-added products.

“Our main emphasis will be to go into different areas of research,” Ganti said. “I would like to go to different places, to maximize our opportunities.”