The National Alliance for Biofuels and Bioproducts (NAABB), a consortium of leading scientists and engineers from universities, private industry, and national laboratories announced today that they have met a significant benchmark by successfully producing biodiesel using oil extracted from algae that meets specifications set by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).  ASTM develops international standards for materials, products, systems and services used in construction, manufacturing and transportation.

Eldorado Biofuel, one of 13 industry members of the NAABB consortium, provided the algal oil while Catilin, Inc. converted the oil to biodiesel using the company’s commercially available T300 solid catalyst.  Conventional conversion methods use highly caustic materials such as sodium hydroxide.  Using Catilin’s method, researchers verified that they could produce high-quality algal based biofuel that meets ASTM standards more efficiently and economically while producing highly purified glycerin, a valuable byproduct which can be used by the food and pharmaceutical industry.  

“We are very pleased to have demonstrated that our catalytic process is effective for algal oil feedstocks.  Not only are the conversion costs reduced relative to the conventional process but the quality byproducts produced in the process will open additional markets,” said David Sams, vice president, business development, Catilin Inc.

“We are happy we could provide this resource to help move the algae biofuels industry forward,” said Paul Laur, CEO, Eldorado Biofuels.

“This step represents a major success and illustrates the high level of interaction between members which is a good sign that we are starting to reap the benefits of the consortium concept,” said Jose Olivares, executive director, NAABB.  “It demonstrates our member’s commitment to developing the industry.”

The next step will be to distribute samples of the ASTM algae based biodiesel among members of the NAABB consortium for follow-up analyses necessary for the evaluation of engine emissions.