One of the companies at the 2008 National Biodiesel Conference and Expo is Solazyme, a company that is making biodiesel out of algae. In fact, the folks from Solazyme brought a sweet ride to the conference… a Mercedes Benz C320 that runs on the green fuel made from the green algae.
I caught up with Jonathon Wolfson from Solazyme and asked him some questions about how his company was able to produce the fuel from what some people might see as an unlikely source.
He pointed out that algae are the original oil producers on the planet. “Frankly, the last time you filled up your car with any petroleum fuel, chances are the oil that fuel was made from came from algae, maybe a hundred million years ago. The strategy has been to take the original oil producers, which, by the way, are the most efficient oil producers and collapse that 100-million-year process into a few days,” Wolfson says.
Wolfson his algal-biodiesel is meeting tough American standards for diesel and the even more stringent Euopean standards. For the consumer, he says they’ll find the fuel performs superbly, sometimes even better than conventional petroleum diesel.
Right now, his company is producing the algal-biodiesel in small quantities, but he hopes that within the next couple of years, they’ll be on a commercially-viable scale of production.
Listen to my entire interview with Wolfson by clicking here: nbb-08-wolfson.mp3
Check out the conference blog to see more stories and pictures and see more pictures.