Market Areas / Chemicals

Creating renewable oils for the chemical market

We're tailoring oils that can serve as the basis for the next generation of high-performance, bio-based chemicals. These oils enhance or replace petroleum-derived chemicals while improving the performance of plant oils and animal fats.

Solazyme's proprietary biotechnology enables us to create renewable, tailored oils serving a variety of chemical applications.

Our technology allows us to produce tailored oils with controlled chain lengths, saturation levels and functional group additions. The oils we produce for the chemical market can have specific melting points, varying concentrations of desired fatty acids, and high concentrations of sought-after but unusual fatty acids.

Agreements along the chemicals value chain include:


In March 2010, Solazyme entered into a research and development agreement with Unilever to develop oil derived from algae for use in soaps and other personal care products. The agreement followed the culmination of a yearlong collaboration between Solazyme and Unilever, in which Solazyme's renewable algal oils were tested successfully in Unilever product formulations. For more information on this agreement, read here.

The Dow Chemical Company

In February 2011, Solazyme entered into a joint development agreement with The Dow Chemical Company (Dow) in connection with the development of microbe-derived dielectric fluids. Pursuant to the agreement, we began working with Dow to develop algal oils for use as dielectric fluids in the transformer market. In May 2012, we furthered entered into an offtake agreement with Dow, in which Dow agreed to purchase from us all of its requirements of non-vegetable microbe-based oils for use in dielectric fluid applications through 2015, contingent on our ability to produce such oils. We also entered into a JDA2, an exclusive, multi-year extension of our current joint-development agreement which enables additional application development work to be conducted by Dow. For more information on this agreement read here.


In March 2014, Solazyme launched the world's first encapsulated biodegradable drilling lubricant, Encapso. This innovative new drilling fluid additive is designed to help meet the energy industry's growing performance demands and ongoing environmental needs. To learn more about Encapso, click here.