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Synthetic Genomics Expansion Update

May 30, 2012

Bruce V. Bigelow, the editor of Xconomy San Diego, digs deeper into the recent announcement of Synthetic Genomics’ purchase of 81-acres near Southern California’s Salton Sea, to indicate that the land comes from a consolidation at San Diego-based Carbon Capture.

While originally formed in 2006 to reduce “global warming and (develop) algae as a source for sustainable fuels and animal feed,” Carbon Capture intended to generate revenue from the sale of algae-produced liquid fuels such as jet fuel, renewable diesel, and biomethane, “as well as algae-based animal feed products and other revenue sources such as technology licensing and consulting services to power plant operators and oil companies.” But recent messages on their website, Bigelow points out, suggest changes.

Carbon Capture says it’s “now focusing on production of fish feed, while continuing to cooperate with federal agencies and private parties” to reduce … greenhouse gas emissions, research next-generation feedstock for fuel production, and produce sustainable feed, according to the piece in Xconomy.

The company first listed its Calipatria property for sale – including 42 open ponds ranging in size from 100 gallons to 240,000 gallons ­– roughly a year ago, said Stephen Mayfield, director of the San Diego Center for Algae Biotechnology (SD-CAB).

Synthetic Genomics says it is renovating the desert site, and plans to begin algae production there within the next 60 days. In addition to the algal ponds, Synthetic Genomics says it also plans to design and build some photobioreactors that will be used to test and scale up production of engineered strains of algae.

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