Solazyme, a US company that produces alternative fuels, has successfully tested its algae fuel in a car and a flight. The algae-fuel works just like regular diesel and it was tested in a Volkswagen Passat TDI recently. It burns faster than the regular diesel and produces less CO2 and soot. Solazyme’s algae jet fuel was used by United Airlines for a flight between Houston and Chicago.
Last year, the American Navy also tested Solazyme’s fuel at the Rim of the Pacific (Rimpac) Exercise, the largest international maritime warfare exercise in the world, and sponsored the company’s alternative fuel production.
In an interview , Graham Ellis, vice-president at Solazyme, explained the process of making algae-fuel. They grow microalgae inside huge stainless-steel containers and later add sugar (usually sugar cane).
It is then processed through fermentation and the organisms convert into little oil balls. Oil is extracted from these algae balls and converted into diesel, jet fuel and other products.