Propel/Solazyme algae B20 retail pilot survey results released

By Solazyme Inc. | March 07, 2013

Renewable fuel retailer Propel Fuels and Solazyme Inc., a renewable oils and bioproducts company, announced that sales and survey results from their 30-day retail pilot program show consumers prefer the environmental benefits of algae-based biodiesel blends compared to conventional fuels, would purchase more of it if it were 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 California at Redwood City, San Jose, Berkeley and Oakland.

In the consumer survey, 92 percent of participants noted that they would be more likely to purchase algae-derived fuel for its environmental benefits; 70 percent indicated that they would purchase the fuel more frequently if it were derived from algae; and nearly 40 percent of customers indicated they would pay a premium for algae-derived fuel.

Sales results reflected the enthusiasm indicated by the survey, with a 35 percent volume increase at Propel stations offering the algae-derived fuel over area sites not participating in the pilot.

“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, vice president of fuels with Solazyme. “The successful pilot program with Propel further exhibits strong consumer appetite for the superior performance and environmental properties of Soladiesel.”

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 to 93 percent 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 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.

“Propel is committed to providing drivers true choice at the pump by bringing to market the world’s highest quality and most sustainable fuels,” said Matt Horton, CEO of Propel Fuels. “The results show strong preference for algae-based fuel, and we are thrilled to have partnered with Solazyme to enable our customers to be the first in the country to purchase this next-generation biofuel.”

 
 
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