Researching algae takes science, sunshine, some very large ponds and the right kind of algae.
Scaling algae production to have the technical ability to produce 10,000 barrels of algae biofuel a day is an ambitious target. But that’s what Synthetic Genomics Inc. (SGI) and ExxonMobil are working towards by 2025.
There’s already been significant progress in improving the amount of oil a model strain of algae yields at SGI’s labs in La Jolla, in Southern California.
Around 150 miles away from the La Jolla labs, at a farm in Calipatria, California, SGI and ExxonMobil scientists are researching possible ways to create a scalable production process that is able to turn some of the strains identified in La Jolla into tomorrow’s low-emission fuel. To see what it takes to meet this challenge, scroll through our photo essay:
The largest algae growth pond currently in use at the farm is about one acre in size.