Algae Based Oil Factory Opens in Brazil

Solazyme, a renewable oil and bioproducts company that harnesses the oil-producing ability of microalgae, hit a milestone last week. “We are thrilled to announce the successful production of our first commercially saleable products at our newly-built plant facility in Moema, Brazil,” Solazyme’s CEO Jonathan Wolfson told IndustryWeek…

“In partnership with Bunge, the Solazyme Bunge Renewable Oils plant has produced its first products on full-scale production lines, including 625,000L fermentation tanks,” he added. “This marks a significant milestone for Solazyme, as we move closer to meeting the demand for revolutionary and sustainable solutions that the world so urgently needs.”

The company created an industrial biotechnology platform that uses standard industrial fermentation equipment to efficiently scale and accelerate the microalgae’s natural oil production time to just a few days.  The platform is feedstock flexible and can utilize a wide variety of plant-based sugars, such as sugarcane-based sucrose, corn-based dextrose, and sugar from other biomass sources including cellulosics.

The Moema plant facility’s sustainability footprint includes low land use impact and high efficiency, low water consumption and a low GHG footprint as the entire process is powered by waste sugarcane. It will reach nameplate capacity of 100K metric tons (MT) a year, which is the CO2 equivalent of planting 9.3 million trees a year.

“Solazyme is doing more than reshaping the oil economy: it is creating the ingredients for a more prosperous, healthier and more sustainable resource model – a model that benefits business, global society and our planet,” Wolfson said. “The Moema facility enables us to commercialize the most sustainable source of oil that happens to have best in class performance.”

Headquartered in South San Francisco, the company plans to produce products to service four markets: (1) fuels and chemicals, (2) nutrition, (3) encapsulated lubricants and (4) consumer products.


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