Propel, Solazyme Bring Algae-Based Fuel to Retail

Published in CSP Daily News

Companies to kick off month-long advanced biofuels pilot program

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. -- 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 they said is the first time. The two 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, they said.

Solazyme's algae-based SoladieselBD meets or exceeds American Society for Testing & Materials (ASTM), quality specifications and has shown performance enhancements including cold temperature operating performance. The fuel is compatible with existing diesel engines, and Propel guarantees the fuel's performance.

Propel will sell the fuel at the same price as conventional diesel fuels. It will be available exclusively at Propel's Clean Fuel Points in Redwood City, San Jose, Berkeley and Oakland, Calif.

"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 (NREL) shows that, in a 20% blend, SoladieselBD significantly outperforms ultra-low sulfur diesel in total hydrocarbons (THC), carbon monoxide (CO) and particulate matter tailpipe emissions, Propel said. This includes an approximate 30% reduction in particulates, a 20% reduction in CO and an approximate 10% 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 for  Solazyme. "We've successfully demonstrated our land-based fuels in fleet vehicles and corporate busses, and are excited about this pilot program with Propel because it enables us to make these fuels available to the public."

Based in Redwood City, Calif., Propel Fuels builds and operates a network of green-built filling stations providing convenient access to American, low-carbon fuels and clean mobility solutions. The company offers consumers and fleets new fuel choices that make progress toward reducing carbon emissions, creating jobs, and lowering America's dependence on foreign oil. Propel has also developed CleanDrive, the nation's first integrated carbon emission reduction tracking platform, and is the only fueling company in the country to enable drivers to offset their emissions at the pump through their CarbonOffset program.

Propel operates a network of locations providing cleaner mobility options in California and Washington.

Based in South San Francisco, Calif., Solazyme is a renewable oil and bioproducts company that transforms a range of low-cost plant-based sugars into high-value oils. Its renewable products can replace or enhance oils derived from the world's three existing sources--petroleum, plants and animal fats. Initially, Solazyme is focused on commercializing its products into three target markets: fuels and chemicals, nutrition and skin and personal care.