November 17, 2010

Successful Conversion of Algal Oil to High Quality Biodiesel

Method employs cost saving catalyst and produces useful byproducts

St. Louis, MO, November 17, 2010 – The National Alliance for Biofuels and Bioproducts (NAABB), a consortium of leading scientists and engineers from universities, private industry, and national laboratories announced today that they have met a significant benchmark by successfully producing biodiesel using oil extracted from algae that meets specifications set by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). ASTM develops international standards for materials, products, systems and services used in construction, manufacturing and transportation.

Eldorado Biofuel, one of 13 industry members of the NAABB consortium, provided the algal oil while Catilin, Inc. converted the oil to biodiesel using the company’s commercially available T300 solid catalyst. Conventional conversion methods use highly caustic materials such as sodium hydroxide. Using Catilin’s method, researchers verified that they could produce high-quality algal based biofuel that meets ASTM standards more efficiently and economically while producing highly purified glycerin, a valuable byproduct which can be used by the food and pharmaceutical industry.

“We are very pleased to have demonstrated that our catalytic process is effective for algal oil feedstocks. Not only are the conversion costs reduced relative to the conventional process but the quality byproducts produced in the process will open additional markets,” said David Sams, vice president, business development, Catilin Inc.

“We are happy we could provide this resource to help move the algae biofuels industry forward,” said Paul Laur, CEO, Eldorado Biofuels.

“This step represents a major success and illustrates the high level of interaction between members which is a good sign that we are starting to reap the benefits of the consortium concept,” said Jose Olivares, executive director, NAABB. “It demonstrates our member’s commitment to developing the industry.”

The next step will be to distribute samples of the ASTM algae based biodiesel among members of the NAABB consortium for follow-up analyses necessary for engine emissions testing.


The National Alliance for Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts is a consortium of industries, universities and national laboratories led by the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis, MO and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The overall goal of the National Alliance for Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts consortium is to produce new technologies that can be implemented by our commercial partners and others developing the algal biofuel industry. In order to achieve this goal, our program incorporates major objectives in Algal Biology, Cultivation, Harvesting/Extraction, and Conversion to fuels, Coproduct development, and Economic/energy-balance modelling and resource management components that will establish the technologies’ viability for overall sustainability.

Media contact: Karla Goldstein, (314) 406-4287,

About Catilin Inc

Catilin is a technology company focused on the global clean technology market including biofuels and biochemicals. Catilin’s first commercially available catalyst, T300, greatly reduces the cost of producing a gallon of biodiesel while creating a superior quality biodiesel and glycerin co-product. The pioneering research of Catilin, in conjunction with Ames Laboratory and Iowa State University, continues to focus on the future of clean technology, including award-winning research on biochemical extraction from algal oil.

Media contact: Dave Sams, (415) 389-0295

About Eldorado Biofuels

Eldorado Biofuels, based in Santa Fe, NM, is committed to commercializing sustainable technologies to help provide the water needed to grow enough algae to meet the National Renewable Fuel Standard for advanced biofuels requirement of 5.5 billion gallons by 2015. Eldorado Biofuels is tasked in NAABB with recycling waste water generated in oil and natural gas production for growing algae.

Media contact: Paul Laur, (505) 670-8490

About The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center

Founded in 1998, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center is a not-for-profit research institute with a mission to improve the human condition through plant science. Research at the Danforth Center will feed the hungry and improve human health, preserve and renew the environment, and enhance the St. Louis region and Missouri as a world center for plant science.

Media contact: Karla Goldstein, (314) 406-4287