San Diego’s Carbon Capture Pulls Out as Synthetic Genomics Moves In

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greenhouse gas emissions, research next-generation feedstock for fuel production, and produce sustainable feed.

So the company appears to be winding down at least some of its operations. Carbon Capture’s founding CEO, Paul Engh, did not return my call yesterday seeking information about the company’s status.

“Carbon Capture is really Paul Engh,” says Stephen Mayfield, director of the San Diego Center for Algae Biotechnology (SD-CAB). “He’s got a couple of people working for him, but he’s basically a single guy.”

The company first listed its Calipatria property for sale roughly a year ago, Mayfield says.

Meanwhile, Synthetic Genomics says it is renovating the desert site, and plans to begin algae production there within the next 60 days. In addition to the algal ponds, Synthetic Genomics says it also plans to design and build some photobioreactors that will be used to test and scale up production of engineered strains of algae.

“Over the last year [Silicon Genomics] has been making steady progress in identifying and modifying a variety of strains capable of producing a broad range of products for all of our algae programs, including our food and nutritional products program,” Synthetic Genomics’ founding CEO J. Craig Venter, says in the company’s statement. “The new facility will help us test these strains and production processes in a larger and more real world setting.”

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Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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