Science Energy Solazyme: Millions of Gallons of Algae Biodiesel Within 3 Years By Michael Graham Richard Writer University of Ottawa Michael Graham Richard is a writer from Ottawa, Ontario. He worked for Treehugger for 11 years, covering science, technology, and transportation. our editorial process Twitter Twitter Michael Graham Richard Updated October 11, 2018 Migrated Image Share Twitter Pinterest Email Energy Renewable Energy Fossil Fuels The Great Green Goey HopeWhile many types of biofuels are far from ideal, there is one that shows more promise than the others: Algae. One of the companies working on algae-based biodiesel is Solazyme (we already wrote about their algae-B100 test-drive), and the latest news is that they are planning to build a new production plant in the next two years with a goal of producing "millions of gallons" of algae oil and biodiesel competitively with fossil fuels within 3 years. Solazyme TechnologySolazyme is doing things a bit differently from other algae-biofuel startups. Instead of growing the algae in open-air ponds or in glass containers that are exposed to the sun, they are growing them in the dark, in huge containers, and they are feeding them with plant biomass. They then ferment it and extract the oil. The company's "Soladiesel" biodiesel has been certified "to work in diesel cars" and the oil they produce can be used in existing oil refineries. Algae YieldsSolazyme CEO Jonathan Wolfson: "It's our perspective that most numbers (on algae yield) are far in excess of reality, some are beyond theoretical," Wolfson said. Producing less than 10,000 thousand of algae per acre is realistic, "but you're not going to see 100,00 gallons per acre any time soon."