As a raw material for fuel production, algae have been the target of extensive research over the recent decades. Microalgae are powerful miniature fuel factories that can be harnessed to produce feedstock for industrial production of fuels and materials. As a means to fight climate change they are in a class of its own. Through photosynthesis microalgae contribute up to 50% of the breathable air on our planet.
There are hundreds of thousands of algal species, from giant kelp to tiny microorganisms in our oceans, rivers and lakes. But It is the microalgae that are of special interest in fuel production, since they use the energy of sunlight to synthesize the sugars, fats and other complex biomolecules that promote their own rapid growth.
The lipids and fatty acids they make have a high energy density and are an excellent raw material for biofuels. At Neste we have explored and developed the use of algae for over 15 years. Our proprietary NEXBTL technology is fully compatible with this feedstock, yielding 100% renewable diesel and premium jet fuels.