Gilbert, Ariz., April 24, 2013 – Today Heliae announced the launch of its patent pending microalgae production platform, Volaris(TM). Volaris is the result of five years of targeted innovation, investment and commitment to delivering a commercially validated technology platform for producing high purity microalgae at competitive prices. Volaris is a game-changer that will enable large-scale production for diverse markets and provide a natural, sustainable, and consistent supply of algae-based products to meet worldwide demand.
“Good science takes time,” said Dan Simon, Heliae’s president and CEO. “We’ve developed a technology platform that finally delivers on what the industry has been promising for more than a decade. With Volaris technology, we’re now able to offer algae solutions for a range of markets, which have not been possible with existing technology. This technology will unlock the industry.”
Volaris combines the best of existing algae production pathways, utilizing both sunlight and waste carbon feedstocks to optimize facility economics. “The algae industry has been hindered by the limits of conventional technology,” stated Lee Tonkovich, Heliae’s vice president of research & development. “Phototrophy and heterotrophy, both have their weaknesses — namely contamination and low growth rates in phototrophy and extremely high capital and operating expenses in heterotrophy. We’ve developed a hybrid mixotrophic pathway which drives down capital costs, reduces contamination, and increases productivity to dramatically improve the economics of algae production.” The productivity gains Volaris provides will reduce much of the land required for a commercial facility.
“Volaris is the next generation in algae growth technology,” said Adrian Galvez, vice president of operations for Heliae. “With it, we can drop the dollar per kilogram cost to a point that makes algae immediately attractive. The flexibility we have in this technology allows us to control output traits and deliver exactly what a customer needs from our algae. This increased product optionality will open new markets for algae.” Volaris will play an important role in Heliae’s new 20-acre commercial facility currently under construction in Gilbert, Ariz., slated to open in late Q3 of 2013.
The Volaris platform is a core piece of technology amongst Heliae’s diverse intellectual property portfolio, which now includes more than 50 issued patents across the algae value chain, making it a top 3 US patent holder in the algae space. Deployment of the Volaris platform supports significant growth and commercial activities in Heliae’s target markets including nutrition, therapeutics, health & beauty, and agrosciences and will enable Heliae to fulfill several outstanding commercial contracts.