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Bay Area drivers 1st with algae biofuel

REDWOOD CITY — Drivers in the San Francisco Bay Area have become the first motorists in the nation to fill up their gas tanks with an algae-based biofuel.

The fuel, known as Biodiesel B20, went on sale Tuesday at gas stations in Berkeley, Oakland, Redwood City and San Jose as part of a month-long pilot program, according to the San Francisco Chronicle (http://bit.ly/TIbSSH ).

Biodiesel B20 is made from 20 percent algae and 80 percent petroleum, and can be used by any vehicle that runs on diesel. Advocates say it is the first in a wave of clean fuel to hit the marketplace.

"We are putting a stake in the ground," said Matt Horton, chief executive officer of Propel Fuels, as he prepared to fill the first tank with the algae-based product at a Valero station in Redwood City. "We hope to build hundreds of stations like this in California."

The fuel's algae was grown by South San Francisco-based Solazyme Inc. and already has been used in trials by the military and industrial companies.


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