Solazyme, Inc., a company developing renewable oils from algae, announced that it has begun a collaboration with Australian airline Qantas to pursue the potential for commercial production of Solazyme’s microbial derived aviation fuel.
This represents the first collaboration in the Asia-Pacific region to explore the use of Solazyme’s Solajet™ fuel in commercial aviation.
Details were not disclosed concerning financial support or development timelines.
“Developing cleaner jet fuels is vitally important for the global aviation industry and for the Qantas Group. The costs and environmental impacts associated with traditional jet fuel mean it is imperative that we push hard now for the commercialization of alternative fuel sources,” Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said.
Solazyme, Inc. is an industrial biotechnology company producing renewable oils and bioproducts using microalgae. These oils and biomaterials can be tailored not only for biofuel production, but also as replacements for fossil petroleum and plant oils in a diverse range of products running from clean fuels and chemicals to cosmetics and foods.
Solazyme counts Unilever (NYSE: UN) among its investors, and the U.S. Navy is currently testing the company’s shipboard fuel.
Last month, competitor OriginOil, Inc. (OOIL.OB) announced it will focus on embedding its technology into industrial systems developed by other companies rather than attempting to reach scale on its own.