I have no position, long or short, in Solazyme. A friend briefly mentioned some algae-oil company yesterday and I think this was what she was referring to. I'm just beginning the process of doing my own research, so forgive my ignorance on this subject.
From what little I have researched, it seems like the company takes stuff like corn or sugar cane and feeds it to genetically modified algae to turn it into oil. Do I have that right?
If so, how is this much different from the whole turn corn into ethanol-fuel idea? Obviously the processes involved are different, but the result seems to be the same; you are taking food that people eat and turning it into fuel. Seems like we've finally realized how bad an idea that whole corn-ethanol was. All corn ethanol did was raise food prices to inefficiently create higher priced gas (partially-subsidizes with tax payer money).
Is this a redux of that same bad idea or is Solazyme different? I really want this to be different. I would like nothing more than to stop being hostage to unfriendly oil rich countries. And I wouldn't making a few bucks off of Solazyme if it can be the company that helps to does so. But (in my admittedly little knowledge of the company thus far), I'm not sure if it is different. If it is just more of the same...
I'm not here to bash. I'm just trying to crowd-source some information while I start my own research. I would appreciate any insight on the subject, if you wouldn't mind. Thank you.
just listen to one of the conferences... the CEO does a much better job explaining everything than anyone here can. the main takeaway point is the company's ability to create specific cuts of oil which allows for them to yield $200-600/barrel while improving the quality of the product yielded.
Solazyme's process can use a variety of feedstocks. As the company grows larger they'll want to use the lowest total cost feedstock - whatever that is. Right now there is no particular reason to assume it will be corn or other food crops. But never underestimate the power of Con Agra, Archer Daniels and the government in terms of what ultimately happens.
Look on the technology page of the solazyme website. A number of different inputs are supported. Also on the output side notice that the outputs are generally higher value oils and not simply "fuel". Even the fuel market segment is currently focusing on jet fuel and not just car fuel. Hope that helps.