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Fuel Management

Propel Fuels & Solazyme Deliver World’s Kicks off Algae-based Fuel Pilot

November 16, 2012

REDWOOD CITY, CA – Propel Fuels, a 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 believe to be the first time in history. 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.

Solazyme’s algae-based SoladieselBD meets or exceeds ASTM quality specifications and has shown performance enhancements including cold temperature operating performance, according to the company. The fuel is compatible with existing diesel engines and the fuel’s performance is guaranteed by Propel. The fuel will be sold at the same price as conventional diesel fuels and will be available exclusively at Propel’s Clean Fuel Points in Redwood City, San Jose (N. First St.), Berkeley, and Oakland.

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-percent blend, SoladieselBD significantly outperforms ultra-low sulfur diesel in total hydrocarbons (THC), carbon monoxide (CO), and particulate matter tailpipe emissions. This includes an approximately 30-percent reduction in particulates, a 20-percent reduction in CO, and an approximately 10-percent reduction in THC.

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