Solazyme has unveiled a microalgae-derived renewable diesel fuel, SoladieselRD, that meets American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) D-975 specifications for petroleum diesel fuels. SoladieselRD is the first algal renewable diesel to meet these standards, and the second algae-derived fuel from the company.
SoladieselRD is output from a refinery, where a hydrotreatment stage deoxygenates the algal oil, resulting in a pure hydrocarbon product. The final product’s chemical composition is identical to that of standard petroleum-based diesel, and SoladieselRD is fully compatible with the existing transportation fuel infrastructure.
Having fewer particulate emissions, SoladieselRD also has a more desirable environmental footprint than standard petro-diesel. In addition, it meets the new ASTM ultra low sulfur diesel (ULSD) standards.
Solazyme has road tested a 100% blend of SoladieselRD in a factory standard 2005 Jeep Liberty diesel.
In January, Solazyme announced that it had entered into a biodiesel feedstock development and testing agreement with Chevron Technology Ventures, a division of Chevron USA to work on developing algae optimized to produce oils for use in hydrotreatment at a refinery. (Earlier post.) Solazyme would not comment on whether or not the SoladieselRD fuel was a result of that collaboration.
For hydrotreatment, you might want to have higher saturation [in the algal oil] and you want low saturation levels for methyl esters.—Jonathan Wolfson, Solazyme CEO
Solazyme earlier introduced Soladiesel, a biodiesel produced from algae that are engineered to produce an oil with an optimized fatty acid profile to enhance cold flow performance, among other properties, and are also modified to grow in the dark in industrial fermentation tanks fed with plant sugars. (Earlier post.)
This now marks the production of our second fuel that meets current US fuel specifications and is an important validation of our proprietary process using microalgae to produce renewable fuels.—Jonathan Wolfson