US Solazyme to introduce algae-based lauric oils in 2013

26 April 2012 23:43  [Source: ICIS news]

JERSEY CITY, New Jersey (ICIS)--US algae oils producer Solazyme plans to introduce in 2013 its lauric oils derived from algae, which can be used as feedstock for oleochemicals, a company official said on Thursday.

The algae-based lauric oils can replace lauric oils based on palm kernel oil or coconut oil, said Tim Dummer, senior director of business development at Solazyme.

Dummer spoke at the ICIS World Surfactants Conference in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Palm kernel oil and coconut oil are typically called lauric oils because lauric acid (C12) is the dominant fatty acid. Lauric acid is used mostly as a feedstock for surfactants.

By weight, palm kernel oil usually contains 45% lauric acid, and coconut oil contains 48%.

Dummer said Solazyme can modify the fatty acid composition and saturation of its genetically engineered algae oils to produce lauric acid contents greater than 80%.

Solazyme estimates the market for palm kernel oil at $9.3bn (€7.1bn) and coconut oil at $5.3bn as of 2011.

Solazyme has formed a joint venture with US agribusiness firm Bunge to build a commercial-scale facility in Brazil that will produce 100,000 tonnes/year of algae-based oils mostly for oleochemical applications.

The facility is expected to start by the second half of 2013.

($1 = €0.76)

By: Doris de Guzman
+1 713 525 2653

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