Algal fuels company Solix Biofuels, Inc. completed its $16.8 million Series A funding with the addition of the international investment group, Shanghai Alliance Investment Ltd. (SAIL). Solix will use the additional funding to complete construction and begin operations at its Coyote Gulch Demonstration Facility, which is expected to be in full-scale commercial operation by late summer 2009.
SAIL’s contribution to the Series A Funding will increase development opportunities for Solix in Asia. Other investors in Solix’s Series A Funding include: I2BF Venture Capital, Bohemian Investments, Southern Ute Alternative Energy LLC, Valero Energy Corp., and Infield Capital.
Solix’ AGS Technology is a photobioreactor that houses closed-growth chambers that support the monoculture growth of microalgae in commercial application. It is designed to be species agnostic, enabling producers to optimize yields regardless of the algal strains used and climatic conditions encountered.
Made of material specifically designed to facilitate optimum illumination levels, the chamber design of the AGS Technology allows for five-times the surface level exposure to sunlight compared with open-pond systems, according to Solix. Controlled turbulence within the chamber circulates the algae to maximize time within the relevant field of photosynthetic activity, leading to higher yields of algae growth.
Solix projects that it will be producing at a rate of 3,000 gallons of oil per acre, per year during the summer of 2009 at the Coyote Gulch facility. This anticipated production rate is based on current production results at its Fort Collins Pilot Facility and includes consideration for increased PAR (photosynthetically active radiation) values, species optimization and operational efficiencies.
Shanghai Alliance Investment Ltd. is international investment firm based in Shanghai, China that is heavily invested in numerous technology, bioscience and renewable energy companies including international investments that are focused on entities with potential to be deployed within China.