Viridos is one of the Algae Biomass Organization’s oldest members, but you might not know it from their new name. Formerly known as Synthetic Genomics, Viridos has taken its new title from the Greek word viridis, which means green or fresh. It’s a reference to a commitment to build the natural solutions we need to create a better future. Toward this mission, Viridos has made astounding progress on one of algae’s most promising potentials: sustainable, low-carbon biofuels.
This past month Viridos announced an agreement with ExxonMobil that will help take the company’s technology closer to commercial production, with particular emphasis on biofuels that work in trucks and airplanes. Heavy transportation and aviation are particularly important in the effort to build a cleaner economy, since they are both critical components of global commerce but also difficult to decarbonize with electricity or other readily available technologies.
To build a better biofuel, Viridos has focused on creating strains of microalgae that are better suited to produce the oils needed to make fuels. Algae strains found in nature can be used to make biofuels at modest scales with today’s technology, but Viridos adjusts those capabilities to improve efficiency, and make production more commercially viable.
Besides genetic innovations, Viridos is also developing systems to maximize biological production, algal crop measurement tools, and scalable development programs that can form the basis of an integrated system to tackle the challenges of sustainable biofuels.
Milestones from Viridos are among the most exciting when it comes to finding a new source of biofuel from microalgae. In 2017, they demonstrated technology that can double the oil production potential of algae without inhibiting growth. In 2020, they showed they could achieve outdoor algal bio-oil productivity at an industrially relevant scale. And more recently, the company secured additional EPA approvals to conduct outdoor cultivation of their lead algal biofuels strains, unlocking an accelerated pathway for safe and continuously improved technology development.
“Viridos has applied science, patience and technical expertise to give us a glimpse of the astounding potentials of algae,” said Dr. Rebecca White, Executive Director of the Algae Biomass Organization. “Their commitment to harnessing this potential at the global scales needed to decarbonize complex industries like aviation or heavy trucking is a model to technology developers everywhere.”
Learn more about Viridos at: https://www.viridos.com/
Interested in joining Viridos as a member of the Algae Biomass Organization? Find out more.