Green

Biofuel from Microalgae

Harrison Dillon

It takes just three hours for a Solazyme microalgae cell to double. One cell become two, then two cells become four, and so on. After just a couple days of that rapid doubling, an immense amount of biomaterial rich in oil has been created, so much oily plant stuff that the company uses 40-foot tall industrial tanks to house it. End products from the processed plant oil range from food to fuel. While the edible cooking oil from Solazyme algae is suitable for pies and cakes, the clear, practically odorless Renewable Diesel is a near match, chemically-speaking, for conventionally refined diesel. Considering that most of the oil resources currently being drilled are the result of ancient algae pools, you can say that a 150-million-year process has been reduced to a couple of days.

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