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Bay Area Drivers 1st To Fill Up Tanks With Algae-Based Fuel

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REDWOOD CITY (CBS/AP) — Drivers in the San Francisco Bay Area were the first in the nation to fill up their gas tanks with an algae-based biofuel.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the fuel, known as Biodiesel B20, went on sale on Tuesday at gas stations in Berkeley, Oakland, Redwood City and San Jose as part of a monthlong pilot program.

It is made from 20 percent algae and 80 percent petroleum and can be used by any vehicle that runs on diesel.

The algae in the fuel is grown by South San Francisco-based Solazyme Inc. It already has been used in trials by the military and industrial companies.

Officials say a decision will be made on whether to continue offering the biofuel after the pilot project.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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