Propel Fuels and Solazyme, Inc., a renewable oil and bioproducts company, are bringing algae-derived fuel to retail pumps in a month-long pilot program to test consumer response. Solazyme’s algae-based SoladieselBD will be available to drivers through Propel’s Bay Area network of retail renewable fuel locations. SoladieselBD is a Fatty Acid Methyl Ester-based (FAME) fuel (i.e., biodiesel).
Solazyme’s high quality algae-based SoladieselBD meets or exceeds ASTM quality specifications and has shown performance enhancements including cold temperature operating performance. 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 (N. First St.), 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.
Testing undertaken by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) shows that, in a 20% blend, SoladieselBD significantly outperforms ultra-low sulfur diesel in total hydrocarbons (THC), carbon monoxide (CO) 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.