Algae Biodiesel Running at Sundance

John Davis

solazyme-logo.gifWhile the movie “Fields of Fuel” is giving people plenty to talk about regarding biofuels at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah (see Cindy’s Jan. 24th post), some are putting the talk into action.

This blog posting on says California-based biotech firm Solazyme is driving around the festival in a car running on its own algae-based biodiesel called Soladiesel:

Solazyme says tooling around Park City, Utah in a Mercedes Benz C320 diesel will be the first real-world road test of biodiesel made from algae. The car is straight off the showroom floor (Solazyme says Mercedes is not involved in the company or the test in any way), and the company says Soladiesel will work in any diesel engine, in almost any climate.

“In demonstrating this new fuel alternative, we’re responding to the need for a near-term solution that will also be cost effective and sustainable,” Harrison Dillon, the company’s president, said in a statement. “Our technology combines all the key components: low carbon footprint, environmental sustainability, certified compatability with existing vehicles and infrastructure and energy security for our country.”

Solazyme hopes to begin mass-producing Soladiesel at a competitive price within three years. That could be a tad optimistic, but Chevron Corp. is sufficiently impressed that it’s joining Solazyme to perfect the technology.

Of course, Solazyme is featured in “Fields of Fuel,” so it sure makes sense that the company would want to be present.