Solazyme is about to make history as the first algae-biodiesel maker to meet stringent standards that diesel fuel must meet.
Closely held Solazyme Inc. is set to announce shortly that its algae-derived biodiesel meets the American Society for Testing and Materials specification for diesel fuel. This means it can go into existing diesel engines without modifications.
Solazyme says it is the first diesel derived from algae to meet these standards.
Vegetable oil from single-celled algae has shown some promise as a source of renewable, alternative fuel. Several companies are pursuing growing it in lined pits or plastic tubes. Solazyme uses steel tanks and a microbial fermentation to get algae into the mood to reproduce and create oil.
I had the chance to talk to Solazyme CEO Jonathan Wolfson back in February at the National Biodiesel Conference & Expo in Orlando. Ever since, we’ve been following the progress of the little pond-scum-to-biodiesel maker. As you might remember from my April 17th, 2008 post, Solazyme’s biodiesel is able to stand up to cold weather… key for wider acceptance. This latest news of ASTM acceptance of Solazyme’s product is just another feather in its growing cap.