Believed to Be First Algae-Based Product for Retail
Propel Fuels began pumping algae-derived biodiesel on a retail basis yesterday, “for what we believe to be the first time in history,” according to a release made with South San Francisco-based Solazyme, Inc. (NASDAQ:SZYM).
The two renewable fuel specialists are providing Solazyme’s algae-based SoladieselBD brand product via four of Propel’s Bay Area stations.
“The month-long pilot program provides the industry’s first opportunity to test consumer response to this advanced renewable fuel,” the companies say.
According to the joint announcement, Solazyme’s algae-based product meets or exceeds ASTM quality specifications and has shown performance enhancements including cold temperature operating performance. The fuel is compatible with existing diesel engines. Performance is guaranteed by Propel. The fuel will be sold at the same price as conventional diesel fuels and will be available at Propel’s Clean Fuel Points in Redwood City, San Jose, Berkeley, and Oakland.
‘Oil’ Made with Standard Fermentation Equipment
“Propel’s growing station network provides the critical link between these future fuels and today’s consumer fuel tanks, giving our customers a chance to make history,” Propel CEO Matt Horton said in a release.
Solazyme converts plant sugars into oils by feeding the sugars to microalgae in standard industrial fermentation equipment. “The algae consume the sugars and convert them into oils rapidly and efficiently,” states the announcement, adding, “While it takes millennia to make petroleum, Solazyme’s process takes merely a few days.”
“Solazyme’s revolutionary algae-based technology platform has supplied our development partners and customers with advanced biofuels that meet or exceed some of the world’s most stringent fuels specifications and requirements, “ said Solazyme fuels VP Bob Ames.
“We’ve successfully demonstrated our land-based fuels in fleet vehicles and corporate buses, and are excited about this pilot program with Propel because it enables us to make these fuels available to the public.”
Solazyme last month named Jean-Marc Rotsaert as COO.
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Source: Propel Fuels and Solazyme with Fleets & Fuels follow-up