What technical obstacles currently most curtail the growth of biofuels? What are the prospects for overcoming them in the near future and the longer-term?
Speaking from the perspective of our microbial renewable oil production technology platform and advanced biofuels, the majority of the true technical hurdles for us have already been crossed. The business plan for Solazyme has been to fit into the existing multitrillion-dollar liquid transportation fuel infrastructure; for example, we are using standard industrial fermentation technology and standard oil refining technology to manufacture ASTM-compliant fuels that can be distributed through standard gas stations into standard, unmodified vehicles. The goal in front of us now is to continue to optimize and customize strains and processes tailored to specific products as well as to continue driving down the cost of our oil production process. Solazyme's obstacles are more along the lines of classic commercialization process development than attempting to demonstrate proof of concept.