November 2012, TruckingInfo.com - Feature
For what is being touted as the first time in history, algae-based biodiesel is available to consumers in a retail setting at various locations in the state of California.
PropelFuels, a retailer of renewable fuels and clean mobility solutions, and Solazyme Inc., a renewable oil and bioproducts company, are bringing algae-derived fuel to retail pumps.
The two renewable fuel brands have come together to offer Solazyme's algae-based SoladieselBD to drivers through Propel's Bay Area network of retail renewable fuel locations. The month-long pilot program provides the industry's first opportunity to test consumer response to this advanced renewable fuel.
Solazyme's tailored fuels are compatible with existing infrastructure, meet industry specifications, and can be used with factory-standard engines, without modifications.
Solazyme's high-quality algae-based SoladieselBD meets or exceeds ASTM quality specifications and has shown performance enhancements including cold temperature operating performance, according to the company. The fuel is compatible with existing diesel engines and the fuel's performance is guaranteed by Propel.
The fuel will be sold at the same price as conventional diesel fuels and will be available exclusively at Propel's Clean Fuel Points in Redwood City, San Jose, Berkeley and Oakland.
Solazyme's technology platform 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.
While it takes millennia to make petroleum, Solazyme's process takes merely a few days. Testing undertaken by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory shows that, in a 20% blend, SoladieselBD significantly outperforms ultra-low sulfur diesel in total hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and particulate matter tailpipe emissions. This includes an approximate 30% reduction in particulates, a 20% reduction in CO and an approximate 10% reduction in THC.