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

(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.

This is the real stuff, but drivers in the San Francisco Bay area are experimenting with algae biofuel.
This is the real stuff, but drivers in the San Francisco Bay area are experimenting with algae biofuel.   (AP Photo/Grant Hindsley)
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