Tech Tuesday is an ongoing series profiling the Forum’s Technology Pioneers. The Tech Pioneers are companies that have been recognized by the Forum for groundbreaking and innovative approaches in tackling some of the world’s most wicked problems. Each week we will showcase some of the 2012 Tech Pioneers. You can learn more about the Technology Pioneer Programme on the Forum’s website.

Solazyme’s industrial biotechnology platform accelerates biofuel production by micro-algae

Solazyme’s unique contribution to the search for cost-effective biofuels is its adaptation of standard industrial fermentation equipment to accelerate the oil producing capabilities of micro-algae, often referred to as cyanobacteria, to just a few days. Solazyme relies on indirect photosynthesis and a proprietary strain of microalgae to speed the process. The system leverages a wide variety of feedstocks, including plant-based sugars, such as sugarcane-based sucrose, cornbased dextrose and sugar from other biomass sources including cellulosics. The petroleum substitutes that are produced meet international industry standards and are compatible replacements for marine, motor vehicle and jet fuels; they can be used in standard engines without any need for adaptation. Current products are SoladieselRD for diesel engines; SoladieselHRF-76 for ship engines; and Solajet for military and civilian application testing.

In 2010, Solazyme delivered 80,000 litres of algae-derived marine diesel and aviation jet fuel to the US Navy. It was the largest delivery in history of a non-ethanol alternative fuel that had been 100% produced by microbial action. The US Navy followed up with another order for 550,000 litres of SoladieselHRF-76 marine fuel. The order put Soladiesel firmly in the front ranks of pioneers developing alternative fuels.

Solazyme Inc.
Jonathan Wolfson, Chief Executive Officer
Location: CA, USA
Number of Employees: 100
Year Founded: 2003

Solazyme Inc.
225 Gateway Boulevard
San Francisco, CA 94080

Telephone: +1 650 780 4777