United to fly Houston-Chicago on Solazyme biofuel

Sun Nov 6, 2011 11:50am EST

Nov 6 (Reuters) - United Airlines, the world's largest air carrier, will make the first U.S. commercial flight using an "advanced biofuel" on Monday, algae-based biofuel maker Solazyme Inc said.

The flight from Houston to Chicago will take the Boeing 737-800 from the former home city of Continental Airlines to the base of United, which took over Continental last year to form United Continental Holdings Inc .

The Solajet fuel blend includes 60 percent petroleum-based jet fuel and 40 percent biofuel, Solazyme said.

Shares of South San Francisco-based Solazyme were floated on Nasdaq in May, but have nearly halved in value since then as prospects for its industry have dimmed along with the broader economy, given its reliance on government funding.

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