Click here for more information about Algenuity
Click here for more information about Liqofluxphenometrics515R1
Visit cricatalyst.com!Evodos Separation Technology Check out more of The Buzz spacer

Exxon and SGI report doubling algal lipid productivity

June 19, 2017
AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com

Synthetic Genomics’ scientists using advanced cell engineering technologies have developed what they are calling a breakthrough in high efficiency lipid producing algae without trading off growth.

ExxonMobil and Synthetic Genomics Inc. have announced that, in joint research into advanced biofuels, they have modified an algal strain to more than double its oil content without significantly inhibiting its growth.

Using advanced cell engineering technologies at Synthetic Genomics, the ExxonMobil-Synthetic Genomics research team modified an algal strain to enhance the algae’s oil content from 20 percent to more than 40 percent. Results of the research were published in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Biotechnology by lead authors Imad Ajjawi and Eric Moellering of Synthetic Genomics.

Researchers at Synthetic Genomics’ laboratory in La Jolla discovered a new process for increasing oil production by identifying a genetic switch that could be fine-tuned to regulate the conversion of carbon to oil in the algae species, Nannochloropsis gaditana. The team established a proof-of-concept approach that resulted in the algae doubling its lipid fraction of cellular carbon compared to the parent — while sustaining growth.

“This key milestone in our advanced biofuels program confirms our belief that algae can be incredibly productive as a renewable energy source with a corresponding positive contribution to our environment,” said Vijay Swarup, vice president for research and development at ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company. “Our work with Synthetic Genomics continues to be an important part of our broader research into lower-emission technologies to reduce the risk of climate change.”

“The major inputs for phototropic algae production are sunlight and carbon dioxide, two resources that are abundant, sustainable and free,” said Oliver Fetzer, Ph.D., chief executive officer at Synthetic Genomics. “Discoveries made through our partnership with ExxonMobil demonstrate how advanced cell engineering capabilities at Synthetic Genomics can unlock biology to optimize how we use these resources and create solutions for many of today’s sustainability challenges — from renewable energy to nutrition and human health.”

Algae has been regarded as a potential sustainable fuel option, but researchers have been hindered for the past decade in developing a strain that is high in oil content and grows quickly – two critical characteristics for scalable and cost-efficient oil production. Slower growth has been an adverse effect of previous attempts to increase algae oil production volume.

A key objective of the ExxonMobil-Synthetic Genomics collaboration has been to increase the lipid content of algae while decreasing the starch and protein components without inhibiting the algae’s growth. Limiting availability of nutrients such as nitrogen is one way to increase oil production in algae, but it can also dramatically inhibit or even stop photosynthesis, stunting algae growth and ultimately the volume of oil produced.

“The SGI-ExxonMobil science teams have made significant advances over the last several years in efforts to optimize lipid production in algae. This important publication today is evidence of this work, and we remain convinced that synthetic biology holds crucial answers to unlocking the potential of algae as a renewable energy source,” said J. Craig Venter, Ph.D., Synthetic Genomics co-founder and chairman. “We look forward to continued work with ExxonMobil so that eventually we will indeed have a viable alternative energy source.”

Since 2009, ExxonMobil and Synthetic Genomics have been partners in researching and developing oil from algae to be used as a renewable, lower-emission alternative to traditional transportation fuels. Dr. Swarup said that while the breakthrough is an important step, the technology is still many years from potentially reaching the commercial market.

“Advancements as potentially important as this require significant time and effort, as is the case with any research and development project,” Dr. Swarup said. “Each phase of our algae research, or any other similar project in the area of advanced biofuels, requires testing and analysis to confirm that we’re proceeding down a path toward scale and commercial viability.”

More Buzz…

HOME A.I.M. Archives

Copyright ©2010-2017 AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com. All rights reserved. Permission required to reprint this article in its entirety. Must include copyright statement and live hyperlinks. Contact editorial@algaeindustrymagazine.com. A.I.M. accepts unsolicited manuscripts for consideration, and takes no responsibility for the validity of claims made in submitted editorial.

twittertopbarlinks_eventstopbarlinks_requesttopbarlinks_archives

From The A.I.M. Archives

— Refresh Page for More Choices
Scientists at Dartmouth College, in Hanover, New Hampshire, have discovered that marine microalgae can completely replace the wild fish oil currently used to feed tilapia...
If we built a Green Friendship Bridge composed of 8,600 algae microfarms given to Mexican and Central American farmers in lieu of 1%, (13 miles) of additional border wall...
Benedict O’Donnell writes in the EU Research and Innovation magazine, Horizon, about research being developed on seaweed as a biological, environmentally friendly, sustai...
Since hydrogen fuel cells produce electricity, we are increasingly thinking about hydrogen as a successor to crude oil. But where will the hydrogen come from? Its ecologi...
Algatechnologies Ltd (Algatech), of Kibbutz Ketura, Israel, has become part of the FoodConnects consortium, as winner of a pan-European competition for the Food4Future pr...
Nicolas Sainte-Foie writes for Labiotech.eu about French startup Algopack manufacturing bio-based plastics made from brown algae. Founded by Rémy Lucas in 2010 and manage...
PhysOrg reports that recent efforts have been made by researchers in Japan to reduce the cost of biodiesel production by using pulsed electric fields (PEF) to extract hyd...
Diane Stopyra writes in Salon.com that a growing number of coastal states around the country are undertaking large-scale seaweed farming projects. While farms are underwa...
Monica Jain of Fish 2.0 writes in National Geographic about how the algae brand is about to undergo an image makeover, and may soon seem flat-out glamorous — once again. ...
Washington State University researchers have developed a biofilm reactor to grow algae more efficiently, and make the algae more viable for several industries, including ...
A Bay Area company has patented a group of three single-celled, algae-like organisms that, when grown together, can produce high quantities of sugar just right for making...
Jeff Gelsky writes in Meat+Poultry that Corbion executives have given insights on how its September 29 acquisition of TerraVia Holdings Inc., an algae-based ingredients c...