Solazyme scales up renewable oil fermentation at Iowa ADM plant
Solazyme Inc., a renewable oil and bioproducts company, announced the successful completion of multiple initial fermentations at ADM’s Clinton, Iowa facility. In these runs, Solazyme achieved commercial-scale production metrics, exhibited linear scalability of its process from laboratory scale, and demonstrated the ability to run at this scale without contamination. The fermentations were conducted in approximately 500,000-liter vessels, which are about four times the scale of the vessels in Solazyme’s Peoria facility. Solazyme is initially targeting annual production of 20,000 metric tons of oil starting in early 2014 at the ADM facility, with targeted expansion to 100,000 metric tons.
The scale achieved at ADM’s Clinton facility is comparable to the fermentation equipment currently under construction at the Solazyme Bunge Renewable Oils facility in Brazil. This 100,000 metric ton annual nameplate capacity facility in Brazil is on schedule to begin operations in the fourth quarter of 2013.
“Working with ADM’s world-class fermentation team to achieve commercial-scale operations at the ADM facility shortly after announcing the partnership exhibits our ability to rapidly and successfully scale in large, commercial fermentation facilities,” stated Peter Licari, Solazyme chief technology officer. “Solazyme is currently developing commercial facilities in the U.S., France and Brazil, and with these runs we have now achieved linear scale-up of over 70,000-fold from our labs.”
Solazyme is utilizing ADM’s existing Clinton, Iowa, manufacturing facility in a capital-efficient expansion of its renewable oil production platform in North America. As part of that arrangement, Solazyme has the ability to fund certain payments with equity rather than cash. To facilitate the equity payments, the company filed a registration statement on Dec. 13 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.