Certain drivers in the San Francisco Bay area are getting the chance to gas up with a new kind of fuel this week.
It’s a form of biodiesel, but anyone familiar with that term will be relieved to know topping off the tank doesn’t meant going gas cap-in-hand to a McDonalds manager. Instead, the stuff known as Biodiesel B20 is made from algae — at least partially.
It’s actually a 20-80 mix between the slimy goop swimmers avoid and petroleum and on Tuesday a handful of gas stations in Berkeley, Oakland, Redwood City and San Jose started carrying it. It sells for about $4.25 per gallon, which is on par with what most drivers in the area pay for diesel fuel already.
While it’s new to commercial consumers, fuels like this have already been used for military vehicle applications. The algae being used to make the fuel pumping from those stations is also made grown in San Francisco by a locally-based company called Solazyme.
Biofuels aren’t likely t ever become mainstream, but they offer prepared consumers an alternative that reduces the volume of fossil fuels they consumer every year.
[Source: Detroit Free Press]