April 20, 2008

Algae-based fuel meets military standards

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., April 18 (UPI) -- The Southwest Research Institute says it has tested an algae-based biofuel that is capable of meeting U.S. Defense Department cold-weather requirements.

The U.S. Department of Defense requested SWRI to test California-based Solazyme Inc.'s biodiesel, called Soladiesel. Officials say the microalgae fuel demonstrated a strong performance capability in cold weather. Because the U.S. military has bases in many cold-weather climates, they have been previously unable to use biodiesel.

Company officials say the new Soladiesel has been processed as a high-grade fatty acid methyl ester biodiesel, meeting requirements of the American Society for Testing and Materials standards D6751 and EN 14214 along with European standards. Soladiesel also meets current military specifications in a Defense Department initiative to reduce dependence on foreign oil.

"The Department of Defense-requested testing of the Soladiesel fuel showed superior performance especially in terms of its cold temperature properties," Jonathan Wolfson, Solazyme chief executive officer, said in a statement. "Greater performance in cold temperatures means our biodiesel and other algae-based fuels could help the military in remote northern locations like Alaska and North Dakota, as well as in hot climates, while reducing dependence on petroleum."

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