Solix receives funding for commercial development, changes name

By Bryan Sims | March 30, 2011

Ft. Collins, Colo.-based integrated algal technology developer Solix Biofuels Inc. has secured $16 million from inside investors as part of a Series B finance round. Bohemian Ventures, The Southern Ute Alternative Energy Fund and I2BF Global Ventures all participated in the round.

In conjunction with the financing, Solix changed its name to Solix BioSystems to better reflect its role as a leading provider of algal production systems.

According to Joanna Money, vice president of business development for Solix, the new funding will help drive the commercialization of the company’s trademarked algae growth system—or AGS—which utilizes Solix’s proprietary, high-productivity photobioreactors. Additionally, Money told Biodiesel Magazine that the impetus behind Solix’s name change is aimed towards a customer base that may be interested in deploying its technology within a build/operate model.

“Solix wants to make it clear to customers that its business isn’t solely derived from production algae products, but that it’s a technology solution company for cultivation and production of algae-derived products,” Money said. “The intention is to be a provider of technology solutions.”

Solix’s latest offering is its Lumian AGS4000 production model that Money described as a 4,000-liter, high productivity, integrated AGS system suited for the outdoor evaluation of algae species. The AGS4000 includes 20 proprietary floating photobioreactor panels (Lumian panels) integrated with a support system for media preparation, harvesting, reinjection and system cleaning. Money said the system is ideal for the creation of R&D and inoculum environments versus large-scale demonstration-scale operations.

“The AGS4000 is a commercial system designed for first-step R&D development for outdoor growth parameters while understanding the local environment,” Money explained.

Since 2008, Solix has successfully demonstrated the viability of its AGS technology at its pilot facility in Ft. Collins. In 2009, Solix successfully scaled its AGS technology at its Coyote Gulch demonstration plant near Durango, Colo., which features three algae cultivation basins on three-quarters of an acre. The plant has more than 150,000 liters of algae under cultivation, according to the company. In 2010, Solix produced 3,000 gallons of algae oil per acre per year in its Lumian AGS4000, according the company, and has cultivated algae continuously in its Lumian AGS for 3 years with no culture crashes.


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