Californians Move Their Green From The Plate To The Gas Tank With Algae Fuel

Californians are known to love eating all kinds of crunchy healthy things like seaweed and algae smoothies made with 100% organic bioprocessed yada yada, but now they’re even putting the green stuff into their gas tanks. It’s all part of a month-long test to see whether a new fuel made from 20% algae and 80% petroleum could work out, and subsequently pose a real threat to Big Oil.

Californians in the San Francisco Bay area participating in the algae gas project — otherwise known as Biodiesel B20 — are the first private citizens in the world to use a domestically grown product that might change the way we use and pay for fuel, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

“Today, at this station, we are putting a stake in the ground,” said Matt Horton, chief executive officer of Propel Fuels, as he prepared to fill the first tank with the algae-based product at a station in Redwood City. “We hope to build hundreds of stations like this in California.”

The fuel works with any vehicle that takes diesel fuel, and because it’s not 100% petroleum it emits less greenhouse gases, says Horton. Customers will have access to the algae fuel for a month at the fill-up tanks at various stations, after which it’ll be decided whether or not the fuel will continued to be for sale.

After all is said and done, Biodiesel B20 produces 30% fewer particulates, 20% less carbon monoxide and 10% fewer hydrocarbons than other diesel and biodiesel fuels. Algae is made up of teeny tiny little organisms, but it could help solve some very large fuel problems.

Algae-based fuel on sale in Bay Area [San Francisco Chronicle]