Synthetic Genomics Acquires 81-acre Site for Testing Innovative Algae Strains
After a considerable interval time there’s an interesting news from Synthetic Genomics! In a recent Press Release synthetic biology expert Craig Venter’s company Synthetic Genomics Inc. (SGI) has announced that the company has purchased 81 acre site for scale up and testing of newly identified and engineered algal strains. The newly purchased site is located in the Imperial Valley near the Salton sea and SGI will utilize the site for testing algal strains isolated or developed through its proprietary technologies, and to develop integrated processes for manufacturing various products, including food, flavorings, and nutritional products. The results from these tests will aid in the designing of commercial scale production facilities which are expected to be constructed in future.
The Imperial Valley site has 42 open ponds ranging in size from 100 to 240,000 gallons, and it is chosen because of its desert environment with little rainfall and plentiful sunshine. The company is also designing and building a range of new closed photobioreactors to test and scale up engineered strains of algae. The site is currently being renovated, with algae production is expected to begin within the next 60 days. More importantly, SGI is also testing new microbial fuel cell technology to purify and recycle water from the algae processing.
According to Craig Venter, SGI’s founder and CEO, this will be an important step forward, as they can scale-up the production of the algae strains they have identified, developed and engineered so far.