Renewable-fuel retailer Propel Fuels and biofuel maker Solazyme report good results from their 30-day pilot program of an algae-derived biodiesel, called Soladiesel. The two companies offered the biofuel in a B20 blend to consumers through Propel’s Clean Fuel Points in Redwood City, San Jose, Berkeley, and Oakland, California.
There was a 35% volume increase at Propel stations offering the algae-derived fuel over area sites not participating in the pilot.
In a consumer survey, 92% of participants said they would be more likely to purchase algae-derived fuel for its environmental benefits; 70% indicated that they would purchase the fuel more frequently if it were derived from algae; and nearly 40% of customers indicated they would pay a premium for algae-derived fuel.
“Our fuels have already been successfully demonstrated in fleet vehicles, corporate buses, military applications and the first U.S. commercial flight on biofuel,” said Bob Ames, VP of fuels, Solazyme. “The successful pilot program with Propel further exhibits strong consumer appetite.”
Solazyme’s algae-based Soladiesel meets or exceeds ASTM quality specifications and has shown performance enhancements including superior cold temperature operating performance and environmental benefits, according to the company.
Life Cycle Associates, an independent greenhouse gas measurement firm, determined that Soladiesel provides an 85-93% greenhouse gas emissions reduction when compared to conventional petroleum-based diesel. In addition, testing by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory indicates that in a 20% blend, Soladiesel 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.