Synthetic Genomic and ExxonMobil Joint Efforts Pave Way to Achievable Algae-based Renewable Energy


Published Date : Jun 21, 2017

A recent press release has announced that the partnership between ExxonMobil and Synthetic Genomics has led to the development of a modified strain of algae that is expected to bring the concept of algae-based energy a step closer to being a commercially viable source of alternate energy. Researchers have long projected that the only way that algae-based energy has a commercial future is a high content algae strain that can quickly grow is developed or discovered.

Strain with Massive Rise in Oil Content

Synthetic Genomic’s efforts in the area of cell engineering have managed to enhance the oil content of a high-content algae from 20 percent to 40 percent. An official report related to this feat was published in the Nature Biotechnology journal. This discovery could help move the alternate energy source a step closer to mass market usage.

Research to be Taken Ahead

This milestone could also help researchers restore their hopes in synthetic biology and the immense potential that algae have as a source of renewable energy. Synthetic Genomics is looking forward to continue the work in this area with ExxonMobil to achieve the goal of finding a strain of algae that can be an effective source of alternative energy.

James Flatt, CTO at Synthetic Genomics, had earlier dismissed the viewpoint that simple modification of the genome of an algae can help the field of biofuel reach the state of commercial viability. Despite this, the laboratory and ExxonMobil reworked their agreement for the phase II research in the area with a fresh outlook focusing on basic science instead of creating a commercially viable research result.