What do these things have in common? They are all powered by algae.
Solazyme, a San Francisco-based company, is on the forefront of innovative technologies to produce fuel and oil from algae. United Airlines flew one of their jets with the company’s algae-based fuel in 2011 and signed up for a contract of 20 million gallons per year. The U.S. Navy also used algae-based diesel fuel from Solazyme to power one of their destroyers.
Apart from fuels, Solazyme recently founded a beauty products company, Algenist, that uses an anti-aging compound derived from algae oils. And Unilever has made a deal to use the company’s algae oils in their food and soap products.
Is algae the face of the next energy revolution? It certainly has huge potential as a carbon-negative fuel, even if it is not yet price competitive with traditional fossil fuels.