Californian renewable oils and bioproducts company, Solazyme Inc, has announced that it has begun a collaboration with Qantas to explore the potential for the commercial production of Solazyme’s microbial derived aviation fuel, Solajet, in Australia.

Solazyme’s technology allows algae to produce oil and biomaterials in standard fermentation facilities.

Qantas Chief Executive Officer, Alan Joyce, said that the collaboration was an exciting step forward for the airline’s environment strategy. About six billion litres of aviation fuel is sold each year and Mr Joyce said that "we look forward to working with Solazyme – and with other important government and private sector stakeholders – to build the case for clean jet fuel production in Australia. We believe this is important not just for Qantas but for the Australian economy as a whole."