Propel, Solazyme pilot consumer access to algae-based fuels
Beginning Nov. 13, Propel Fuels, a leading 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 for what we believe to be the first time in history. The two leading 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 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 the California cities of Redwood City, San Jose (N. First St.), Berkeley and Oakland.
“Propel is committed to providing our customers with access to the highest quality, most sustainable, domestically produced fuels, so we’re proud to introduce the next generation of fuels to the retail market,” said Matt Horton, CEO of Propel Fuels. “Propel’s growing station network provides the critical link between these future fuels and today’s consumer fuel tanks, giving our customers a chance to make history.”
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 percent blend, SoladieselBD significantly outperforms ultra-low sulfur diesel in total hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and particulate matter tailpipe emissions. This includes an approximate 30 percent reduction in particulates, a 20 percent reduction in CO and an approximate 10 percent reduction in THC.
“Solazyme’s revolutionary algae-based technology platform has supplied our development partners and customers with advanced biofuels that meet or exceed some of the world’s most stringent fuels specifications and requirements,” said Bob Ames, vice president of fuels, Solazyme. “We’ve successfully demonstrated our land-based fuels in fleet vehicles and corporate buses, and are excited about this pilot program with Propel because it enables us to make these fuels available to the public.”