California Drivers First to Test Algae Fuel
It's 80% petroleum and 20% algae
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 14, 2012 2:42 PM CST
This is the real stuff, but drivers in the San Francisco Bay area are experimenting with algae biofuel.   (AP Photo/Grant Hindsley)

(Newser) – Drivers in the San Francisco Bay Area have become the first motorists in the nation to fill up their gas tanks with an algae-based biofuel. The fuel, known as Biodiesel B20, went on sale yesterday at gas stations in Berkeley, Oakland, Redwood City, and San Jose as part of a month-long pilot program. Biodiesel B20 is made from 20% algae and 80% petroleum, and can be used by any vehicle that runs on diesel. Advocates say it is the first in a wave of clean fuel to hit the marketplace.

"We are putting a stake in the ground," said Matt Horton, chief executive officer of Propel Fuels, as he prepared to fill the first tank at a Valero station in Redwood City. "We hope to build hundreds of stations like this in California." The fuel's algae was grown by San Francisco-based Solazyme Inc. and already has been used in trials by the military and industrial companies. It sold for about $4.25 a gallon at the Redwood City station, about the same as the average price for diesel fuel in California. The San Francisco Chronicle has more.

Copyright 2016 Newser, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

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Showing 3 of 40 comments
Falcon269
Nov 15, 2012 9:37 AM CST
I think it is quite fitting that Californians be propelled by pond scum......
$28919642
Nov 15, 2012 7:36 AM CST
The Algae based fuels are the most promising of all the biofuels. Most of them are "drop-in" fuels; that is, they do not require modification of the engine.
ApolitickalExtremist
Nov 14, 2012 9:40 PM CST
Isn't the goal to support the infrastructure for electric or alternative energy sources? This is a step backwards to keep us sucking up ancient technology and continue our own exploitation... They should also be sued for claiming it's "clean energy".