J.B. Hunt Transport Services and SunEco Energy have signed an agreement to pursue biodiesel made from algae oil using SunEco’s technology. According to a news release, the companies conducted a series of tests using B20 and B50 biodiesel made from the algae oil and showed an 82% reduction in particulate emissions with no power loss.
“Transportation fuel is virtually 100% oil-based,” said Gary Whicker, senior vp of engineering for J.B. Hunt. “Finding alternative energy sources to put in our fuel tanks is good business for our company and our nation. SunEco's innovative process to produce renewable fuel supplies from algae grown in American ponds is an intriguing new option. Our initial experience with their algae-based biodiesel is promising, and we are excited about the opportunity to work with SunEco Energy to move towards a lower cost, less carbon intensive, and more secure energy supply for our business.”
SunEco’s process uses naturally occurring algae strains in a monitored environment. The company is raising additional funding so it can create large-scale deployment of the technology throughout the U.S.
The two companies conducted a series of successful tests using biodiesel made by SunEco Energy from 100% natural algae oil produced at the company's pilot plant in Chino, CA. These tests, using a 20% and 50% blend of algae oil with petroleum diesel, measured an 82% reduction in particulate emissions with no loss of power.
“We are very pleased that J.B. Hunt, a leading transportation company, took the steps to test our fuel in their trucks and are taking further steps to become a leader in the use of renewable fuels,” said Dan Gautschi, chairman & CEO of SunEco Energy. “The SunEco technology has been in development for over five years, with an operating pilot facility over the past two years which has allowed us to continually produce barrels of oil rather than beakers, enabling us to provide oil for tests in a variety of applications.”