First algae-derived diesel hits the pumps...

ducesrwld

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Based off of some math that I did a few months ago, a 1 acre pond could produce enough algae to fuel me for a year (18k miles each year); that is given good conditions for algae growth.

new article in diesel power mag said there is a couple hundred acre farm down south with a max output of 1.5 million barrels/yr so i'd say an acre would be more than plenty
 

tditom

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Solazyme is using bioreactors- don't need acres of surface area.
How the Solazyme biotechnology platform works
Most microalgae produce their own nutrients by using sunlight in a photosynthetic process. Our proprietary microalgae are heterotrophic, meaning they grow in the dark (in fermenters) by consuming sugars derived from plants that have already harnessed the sun's energy.
By using standard industrial fermentation equipment, we're able to efficiently scale and accelerate microalgae's natural oil production time to just a few days and at commercial levels.
http://solazyme.com/technology
 

chudzikb

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As they say in the video, Solazyme is more focused upon the higher margin products derived from their process. Just makes sense for them to get more value from their given capacity.
 

RI_TDI

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Here's a nice clip about Solazyme biomass fuels. Note that VW is involved with the testing!

http://translogic.aolautos.com/2013/04/01/translogic-126-solazyme-algae-derived-biodiesel/

-Jason
VW gave them some vehicles for testing. From my research that is the extent of their participation. VW is not inclined to spend any money making their vehicles more BD-friendly, but will spend a little (cost of these vehicles) to appear to be supportive, and to have a front-row seat for BD developments.

my 2¢
John
 

bobt2382

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Bay area folks, is their BD still available for sale?
 

RIP TDI

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No. The duration of the pilot test was the volume of one UST (Underground Storage Tank), each, at the Berkley, Oakland, Redwood City and San Jose Propel stations. The tanks were refilled with conventional B20 after the single tank of Solazyme was used up.
 

bobt2382

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Chris,

Thanks for the info. I guess selling it the Navy and the airlines at a much greater price than $4 a gallon was a better deal for them, lol! Did you get a chance to try it?

Bob
 

BeetleGo

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And now Spain has found some interesting algae.

http://domesticfuel.com/2013/04/08/spanish-study-finds-microalgae-for-biodiesel/

Spanish Study Finds Microalgae for Biodiesel

Comment Posted by John Davis – April 8th, 2013

There might be a variety of microalgae previously overlooked for biodiesel that is back in the renewable energy game. This article from Biofuels International says scientists from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) in Spain have identified dinoflagellate microalgae as an ‘easy and profitable way’ of creating biodiesel:

‘If we make simple adjustments to completely optimize the process, biodiesel obtained by cultivating these marine microalgae could be an option for energy supplies to towns near the sea,’ Sergio Rossi, a researcher at the UAB, was quoted as saying.

The article goes on to say that some of the possible adjustments could include reusing leftover organic pulp, the use of air pumps and more efficient cultivation materials.

-----

It seems to me that it is only a matter of time before this code is cracked! This is so exciting to watch unfold!
 

bhtooefr

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One thing that I don't like about the Solazyme process is that they're not using direct solar as their feedstock, which eliminates most of the benefits of an algal process.

They're using the algae to convert biomass, which means you still need crops as an input.

That said, the fact that they get to custom-tailor the fuel far better than a transesterification process does is far, far better.

I look at the Solazyme process as an alternative to F-T or transesterification, rather than as an alternative to the solar/CO2-fed algal biodiesel.
 

Sappington

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I didn't see anything about the cold-weather properties of this algae fuel. Are we to assume it's on par with petro-diesel?
 

GaryTDI

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Here's a nice clip about Solazyme biomass fuels. Note that VW is involved with the testing!

http://translogic.aolautos.com/2013/04/01/translogic-126-solazyme-algae-derived-biodiesel/

-Jason
This is excellent! Since these VW's are being tested with Soladiesel RD which has already been approved by the EPA as a drop in replacement for Diesel and a Cetane rating of over 74, VW can be proud to bless it for use in their cars when they report on it later this year. From what I read, the fuel offered by Propel was Soladiesel BD which is a FAME based Biodiesel and not supported by VW on their new clean diesel engines. You can read more about their different fuels here http://solazyme.com/fuels

So Soladiesel BD is like the traditional Biodiesels that you can find on the market today but Soladiesel RD is a true diesel drop in replacement that will work at least as good if not better than dino diesel. I can't wait until this gets on the market and I can use it in my TDI.

 

chudzikb

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Margins are too low on diesel for Solazyme. They will not produce it, it was just a marketing test. Kior does produce a diesel from waste wood chips, it is epa certified as well. Amyrs does as well from sugar cane.
 

GaryTDI

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Margins are too low on diesel for Solazyme. They will not produce it, it was just a marketing test. Kior does produce a diesel from waste wood chips, it is epa certified as well. Amyrs does as well from sugar cane.
I really don't think they would have it featured in their portfolio if they weren't going to make diesel. They are already scaling up and will have a large production facility online at the end of this year. As they scale they will be able to handle the lower margins for fuels. In the mean time they will make money with Foods, Cosmetics, Dielectric fluids, and anything else that has an oil profile that they can produce.

 

kjclow

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The production and sale of diesel fuel will help with the economy of scale for the rest of their chemical sales. If you can keep the plant running at high through put, then the overall costs stay down.
 

AndyBees

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So, what's the latest on this company? Are they still dabbling with algae based bio-diesel?
 

chudzikb

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Solazyme has done much more than the diabetes deal. Drilling fluids, and foods come to mind. Kevin Quon from Seeking Alpha covers the company extensively. However, fuel is too low margin for the company. Just does not make sense for the company at this point in their business cycle.
 
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