The story behind 1500 gallons of Solazyme's jet fuel to the U.S. Navy 56Solazyme,a San Francisco-based algae company claimed that they provided about 1500 gallons of algae-based jet fuel , infact 100 percent algae-based fuel to the U.S. Navy. So, I was actually wondering what is so special about it that the U.S. Navy is after it.
SOLAZYME's UNIQUE APPROACH TOWARDS ALGAE-BASED JET FUEL
Harris Dillion, the founder of Solazyme Inc. claims that their technology is to feed the biomass
( industrial and agricultural) for the algae,the algae eats it up and accumulate oil in their cells. They take the algae out, dry it and squeeze 80% of oil. They then transport this in a tanker to their biorefinery where this oil is converted into jet-fuel and more.
Algae strain selection as you might be aware is a resource intensive exercise,Solazyme has dedicated many years of research to identify the best oil yielding strain which can produce oil. In fact they are using an engineered algal strain.
OPEN-PONDS WONT WORK!--- ECONOMICALLY NOT FEASIBLE:
The company apparently is seven years old and the process with the tank and growing the algae has been in development for about four years. Before that, they spent a few years growing the algae in ponds using sunlight, and realized that would never work.
The cost of making a gallon of oil by growing algae in the sun according to Dillon is about $1,000 a gallon. They then realized that the process of feeding biomass to yeast to make ethanol, which is about $2 a gallon. So they fed the sugars to algae, and use the same process to make oil.
SOLAZYME's JET-FUEL MEETS ALL THE REQUIREMENTS:
They have considered all the aspects of the normal jet-fuel and worked on producing the same from their algae jet fuel for the US navy. There are many properties such as flash points,or freezing points, because it's very cold in the sky. You have to be above a certain freezing point. The standards are pretty stringent and of course, it needs to have a certain density because there?s not a lot of room on a jet.
Also, the density of jet fuel is actually a little lower than diesel because if you drop the density you can keep it from solidifying at cold temperatures.
Interestingly, no changes need to be made in the aircraft to support this fuel. There is no requirement of new engines, new pipelines or new gas pumps.
Solazyme actually aims at making the fuel meet every single fuel standard the Navy has so it can be used as a 100 percent drop-in replacement and now that they have delivered 1500 gallons of jet-fuel to the US navy, they will now send it to laboratories to get the final approval before they test their planes. Additionally,
Solazyme is also planning to deliver about 20,000 gallons of diesel fuel which will be used for ships.
They claim that they will be able to make oil $60 to $80 a barrel within two years, and they say that they are not much higher than that now.
The Air Force is also certainly interested in these fuels as well. The Navy has a goal to operate at least 50 percent of its fleet on clean, renewable fuel by 2020. The Navy has led the way in putting a bold target out there and getting this program up and running.
Good luck to Solazyme!!!
According to Solazyme,
1. Their method of algae production doesn?t require light ( heterotropic)
2. They unlike others grow algae in steel tanks (fermenters) and not in open- ponds or Photobioreactors.
3. They wish to use existing infrastructure (large-scale fermentation tanks and bio refineries).
4. They have supplied 15,000 gallons to US Navy and their jet-fuel is 100% algae-based.
5. The U.S. Navy has sent it for testing it in laboratories and will use it only after they get it approved.
6. They plan to provide 20,000 gallons of diesel fuel for the Navy to run the ships.
7. Initially, they tried to grow algae in open-ponds but as they felt open ?ponds is economically not viable they have opted for dark-fermentation using cheap sugars.
8. Air-force is also interested in Solazyme's jet fuel
9. Solazyme has provided 15,000 gallons of jet-fuel to the U.S. Navy at their own cost. Login to Post a Comment