Solazyme, Inc. has announced that United Airlines flew the world’s first commercial aviation flight on a microbially-derived biofuel using Solajet™, Solazyme’s algae-derived renewable jet fuel. The Eco-skies Boeing 737-800 plane was fueled with 40 percent Solajet and 60 percent petroleum-derived jet fuel. The commercial Eco-skies flight departed from Houston’s IAH airport at 10:30AM Monday, November 7, and landed at Chicago’s ORD airport this afternoon.

Solazyme, which is ramping up production capacity to produce 500,000 MT of renewable oil by 2015, also signed a Letter of Intent with United to supply up to 20 million gallons per year (approximately 70,000 MT) of renewable jet fuel starting in 2014.

“Today’s historic flight with United marked a significant milestone in the history of aviation, and demonstrated the commercial applicability of our drop-in fuel,” said Jonathan Wolfson, CEO, Solazyme. “The U.S. Navy has demonstrated the effectiveness of our fuel in multiple vessels over the past year, and we are honored to be working with industry pioneers such as United and Honeywell’s UOP to see this important next step in the commercialization of our renewable fuels.”

Solazyme’s algae-derived renewable jet fuel, Solajet, was manufactured via Solazyme’s proprietary fermentation process and renewable jet fuel processing technology from Honeywell’s UOP. Solajet fully complies with the ASTM D7566 specification for Synthetic Paraffinic Kerosene from Hydroprocessed Esters and Fatty Acids, which specifies bio-based fuels intended to be blended with commercial jet fuel (Jet-A).

To date, Solazyme has produced and delivered the largest quantities of microbially-derived advanced biofuels in history. These deliveries include over 375,000 liters of in-specification marine diesel and jet fuel.