Solazyme Commissions Algal Biorefinery in Peoria

July 1, 2012
AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com

Solazyme, Inc. has just announced the successful commissioning of its first fully integrated biorefinery (IBR) in Peoria, Illinois, to produce algal oil. Solazyme has been running routine fermentations at commercial scale since 2007 and began running fermentation operations at the Peoria facility in Q4 2011. With the successful production of algal oil from the integrated facility this month, Solazyme has met its start-up goals for the facility on schedule.

The IBR was partially funded with a federal grant that Solazyme received from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in December, 2009 to demonstrate integrated commercial-scale production of renewable algal-based fuels. The demonstration/commercial-scale plant will have a nameplate capacity of two million liters of oil annually, and will provide an important platform for Solazyme’s continued work on feedstock flexibility and scaling of new tailored oils into the marketplace.

To maximize capital efficiency, Solazyme bought the existing Peoria fermentation facility in May 2011 and began retrofitting the former PMP Fermentation Products plant into an integrated demonstration/commercial-scale facility that will produce renewable tailored triglyceride. Solazyme has been operating at semi-commercial scale through contract manufacturers since 2007. The company has seen linear productivity in its scale-up efforts, including multiple toll manufacturing facilities and multiple successful 128,000- liter scale fermentations at Peoria.

“Bringing the Peoria IBR online is a major milestone for Solazyme and our ability to provide a new source of renewable oils that are specifically tailored to offer enhanced alternatives to conventional sources of oil. The Department of Energy has proven to be a valuable partner in demonstrating how important new technologies like Solazyme can positively impact this country’s economy, long-term job creation and energy independence efforts,” said Rogerio Manso, Chief Commercialization Officer.

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