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In Sundance one movie I really want to watch but don’t got a chance to see is Josh Tickell’s film “Fields of Fuel,” a documentary about renewable fuel. I do a research and find out this company is one of the sponsors:

From Technology Review:

Solazyme, a startup based in South San Francisco, CA, has developed a new way to convert biomass into fuel using algae, and the method could lead to less expensive biofuels.

The new process combines genetically modified strains of algae with an uncommon approach to growing algae to reduce the cost of making fuel. Rather than growing algae in ponds or enclosed in plastic tubes that are exposed to the sun, as other companies are trying to do, Solazyme grows the organisms in the dark, inside huge stainless-steel containers. The company’s researchers feed algae sugar, which the organisms then convert into various types of oil. The oil can be extracted and further processed to make a range of fuels, including diesel and jet fuel, as well as other products.

The company uses different strains of algae to produce different types of oil. Some algae produce triglycerides such as those produced by soybeans and other oil-rich crops. Others produce a mix of hydrocarbons similar to light crude petroleum.

Solazyme’s method has advantages over other approaches that use microorganisms to convert sugars into fuel. The most common approaches use microorganisms such as yeast to ferment sugars, forming ethanol.