Synthetic Genomics Inc. Purchases 81 Acre Site in South California Desert for Scale up and Testing of Innovative Algae Strains

NOTE: Synthetic algae is taking a great leap forward with this announcement from Synthetic Genomics. The implications are manifold, and of great concern. - GJEP

Company will use the Imperial Valley facility to scale up production of algae products including food and nutritional products

SGI will also test microbial fuel cell technology for purification of water from algae processing

LA JOLLA, CA—May 24, 2012—Synthetic Genomics Inc. (SGI), a privately held company commercializing and developing genomic-driven solutions to solve a range of global challenges, today announced they have purchased an 81 acre site for scale up and testing of newly identified and engineered algal strains. The company will use the site, located in the Imperial Valley near the Salton Sea, to test algal strains isolated by SGI or developed through SGI’s proprietary synthetic genomic technologies, and to develop integrated processes for low cost manufacture of various algal products, including food, flavorings, and nutritional products. Results from SGI’s new facility will inform the design of future commercial production facilities.

This large site, chosen for its optimal desert environment of little rainfall and plentiful sunshine, has 42 open ponds ranging in size from 100 to 240,000 gallons. 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 beginning within the next 60 days.

“The Imperial Valley facility is an important step forward for SGI as we will now be able to scale up production of the algae strains that we have isolated, developed  and engineered,” said  J. Craig Venter, Ph.D., Founder and CEO, SGI. “Over the last year SGI has been making steady progress in identifying and modifying a variety of strains capable of producing a broad range of products for all of our algae programs including our food and nutritional products program. The new facility will help us test these strains and production processes in a larger and more real world setting.”

SGI is also testing new microbial fuel cell technology to purify and recycle water from the algae processing.

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