Propel Fuels, a retailer of renewable fuels and clean mobility solutions, and Solazyme, Inc. announced that sales and survey results from a 30-day retail pilot program show consumers prefer the environmental benefits of algae-derived biodiesel compared to conventional fuels; would purchase more of it if it was widely available; and would even pay a premium for it.
The pilot program, which marked the first commercial availability of algal derived fuels, offered SoladieselBD in a B20 blend to consumers through Propel’s Clean Fuel Points in Redwood City, San Jose, Berkeley, and Oakland, California.
In the consumer survey, 92% of participants noted that 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.
Sales results reflected the enthusiasm indicated by the survey, with a 35% volume increase at Propel stations offering the algae-derived fuel over area sites not participating in the pilot.
Solazyme’s high quality algae-based SoladieselBD meets or exceeds ASTM quality specifications and has shown performance enhancements including superior cold temperature operating performance and environmental benefits. 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 (NREL) indicates 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.