Viridos signs deal with Exxon to help scale up algae biofuels

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Biotech firm Viridos has signed a joint agreement with ExxonMobil Research and Engineering to bring its low-carbon intensity biofuels toward commercial levels.
The company’s microalgae research has achieved greater than five times bio-oil productivity increases by increasing both the oil content in the algae and the algae yield.
The results from outdoor deployment of Viridos’ bio-engineered strains in 2020 and 2021 mark the inflection point toward deployment.
“We’re excited to announce that ExxonMobil is continuing this collaboration with us to bring sustainable algae biofuels technology closer to commercial deployment,” said Viridos’ CEO Dr Oliver Fetzer.
“The recent productivity advances in Viridos’ technology are an opportunity to turn CO2 into renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuels, providing an essential component for the decarbonisation of the heavy-duty transportation industry. In this next phase of the programme, we intend to broaden participation and invite others to build the ecosystem required for full-scale deployment.”
Viridos’ partnership with ExxonMobil seeks to build out the technology and agronomy to enable the commercial launch of Viridos’ low-carbon intensity algae biofuels.
In addition to their use in heavy transport, the algae biofuels could be used for aviation, commercial trucking, and maritime shipping.
“Our research with Viridos is one facet of our approach to help society identify and deploy the biofuels needed to reduce emissions from important sectors of the economy, including heavy duty transportation,” said Vijay Swarup, vice president of research and development at ExxonMobil. “ExxonMobil has supported Viridos in the development of advanced bioengineering tools, and we look forward to further advancements in the research that shows potential to help society mitigate the risks of climate change.”