Algae-to-fuel company Solazyme, Inc. has been selected by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to research, develop and demonstrate commercial scale production of algae-derived biofuel that meets the United States Navy's specifications for military tactical platforms.
Solazyme will use its innovative large-scale algal oil production process to provide renewable F-76 Naval Distillate fuel for testing and fuel certification to demonstrate it meets all military specifications and functional requirements.
The contract will further advance research and development on large scale advanced biofuel production from algae. It includes both R&D and fuel delivery components and calls for delivery of over 20,000 gallons of Soladiesel®F-76 Renewable Naval Distillate fuel to the Navy for compatibility testing over the next year. F-76 Naval Distillate is similar to diesel fuel and is the primary shipboard fuel used by the Navy.
"The fuels made with our algal technology reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 85% versus standard petroleum based fuels," said Jonathan Wolfson, Solazyme's CEO. "We are honored to be working with the U.S. Navy to develop one of the world's newest and cleanest fuels."
Solazyme's technology could help the DoD reduce its carbon footprint, combat global climate change and lead in the development of clean and renewable energy sources. Solazyme said it has already produced Soladiesel®F-76 that has been delivered to the Department of Defense for initial testing and has met the Navy's F-76 specification. This program will lead to the eventual certification of Soladiesel®F-76 Naval distillate for commercial sale to the U.S. Military.
Founded in 2003 and headquartered in South San Francisco, Solazyme's unique technology allows algae to produce oil and biomaterials in standard fermentation facilities at large scale.
These natural oils and biomaterials are tailored not only for fuel production, but also as replacements for fossil-derived petroleum and a variety of natural plant oils and compounds, making them useful in a wide range of products: from oleochemicals, to cosmetics, to foods.
Solazyme's investors include Braemar Energy Ventures, Harris & Harris Group, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Roda Group, and Vantage Point Venture Partners.