Offering ethanol made from algae for the first time commercially, Algenol Biotech LLC and Protec Fuel Management, LLC have entered into an agreement to market and distribute ethanol from Algenol’s Fort Myers, Fla., commercial demonstration module. The two will also offer Algenol’s future 18 million gallons per year from its commercial plant, which is planned for development in Central Florida in 2016 and 2017. Protec Fuel will distribute and market the fuel for E15 and E85 applications for both retail stations and general public consumption, as well as fleet applications.

“This alliance is a logical step for Algenol as our commercial fuels are coming on-line,” says Algenol Founder and CEO Paul Woods. “We are excited about partnering with a successful, innovative renewable fuels distributor, who is knowledgeable in the regional and Florida ethanol market and has the expertise and relationships to grow the partnership nationally.”

“We know that advanced ethanol is a key element of the future of fuels, and we are excited to partner with Algenol, the leader in the development of algae-based fuels,” said Todd Garner, CEO, Protec Fuel. “The key components and priority of ethanol’s use are sustainability, cleaner air, and to provide the public with lower-cost fuel,” he said. “To be able to offer a fuel that can accomplish the three key components only bolsters this advanced biofuel’s future.”

This partnership will enable Algenol to leverage Protec’s established network of retail clients for the distribution of Algenol’s E85, E15 and other advanced biofuels, while also enhancing Protec’s proven ability to bring to market unique renewable fuels. The agreement encompasses E85 and E15 marketing and supply to Protec distribution network and to fuel terminals and other third parties, as warranted by market conditions. While the partnership will initially focus on Florida, the agreement provides for expansion into a national partnership scope as Algenol develops projects in other markets. Algenol’s Florida-based production facilities will provide both parties and their customers with a substantial margin advantage versus fuels shipped from out-of-state.

This agreement follows a series of successful commercialization milestones achieved by Algenol, which include its pathway approval by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in December 2014, its organism approval by both the state of Florida and by the EPA in the same year, and the June 2015 completion of its 2-acre commercial demonstration module funded in part by a $25 million DOE Recovery Act grant. Algenol is producing ethanol meeting the D4806 ASTM specifications on a daily basis, and it can be sold commercially as E85.

Algenol has developed a patented technology using algae to produce the four most widely used fuels: ethanol, gasoline, jet and diesel fuel, all for about $1.30 a gallon. The company captures, recycles and utilizes CO2 that is used as a feedstock for the algae, an approach specifically identified as a qualifying technology for reducing carbon emissions in the recently established Clean Power Plan. Its pathway reduces Greenhouse gas emissions by 69% per gallon compared to traditional gasoline according to the official EPA pathway approval. A single 2,000 acre commercial Algenol module is equivalent to planting 40-million trees or removing 36-thousand cars from the road. Ethanol, used in gas pumps across the country, is typically made from the fermentation of sugars produced by plants such as corn and sugar cane. But through the innovation of using algae to convert CO2 emissions into fuels, Algenol has successfully developed a fossil fuel replacement with yields 20 times greater than that of corn.