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Sapphire Energy Introduces Algae-Derived Bio-Gasoline

Start-up algal biofuels company Sapphire Energy unveiled a renewable 91 octane gasoline that conforms to ASTM certification derived from algal a biocrude.

Sapphire has developed a platform that produces a “green crude”  and biohydrocarbon fuels from modified algae. Sapphire’s founders and leadership team includes scientists in the fields of petroleum chemistry, biotechnology, algal production, plant genomics, and biogenetics.

Brian Goodall, Sapphire’s new vice president of downstream technology, was most recently at Imperium Renewables, where his team there recently delivered the 1,000 gallons of biojet fuel used on Virgin Atlantic’s first-ever commercial “green” jet flight. (Earlier post.)

The one-year old San Diego, California-based Sapphire has already gathered $50 million in funding from investors, including ARCH Venture Partners, the Wellcome Trust, and Venrock.

Sapphire’s scientific supporters include Scripps Research Institute; University of California, San Diego; the University of Tulsa, and the Department of Energy’s Joint Genome Project.

Comments

Schmeltz

This sounds doggone promising if their claims can be believed. I checked out there website. They have a lot of impressive resume's, but I wonder the cost of building the algae farms, etc.? Does their plan sound feasible to anyone out there?

Cervus

Music to my ears. And they're local to me. C'mon, let's get this stuff to market!

Neil

Too bad it's already been shown that algal bio-fuels should be scrapped because they can't be done economically. ... wait a minute ... that was at 30$ a barrel. Holy profit margin Batman!

If you can grow algae hydroponically (i.e. nutrient solutions without need for soil) in areas where land and soil conditions aren't conducive to farming for corn or wheat, this would be a good answer to the biofuels versus people-food problem.

Reality Czech

Sewage would be an excellent source of nutrients. Is there not at least one company trying to use it?

phronesis

there are a couple other companies looking at waste water Blue Marble Energy has been for quite some time now as well as Aquaflow.

Sapphires method for conversion will be the standard on how to convert algae to energy the notion of oil extraction from algae will be dead in the water so to speak within a year, I could be wrong but essentially that would the foolish method to pursue.

On another note Sapphire just appears to be one of the first to market but they are not the only ones looking at bio-crude conversions more will soon follow.

Amit

The question really is, how much can they produce per day.. What is the EROI? The new stories did nothing to answer these fundamental questions.

ken

Shouldn't they focus on a diesel fuel replacement first? All the other algae research seems to come to the conclusion that is the most viable use.
Once again, no speciifs: amount of land or quality required per litre. Experimentation with jatropha genome mapping sounds more promising.

Take a problem
Turn it into an asset
Make money doing it.

Sounds win win win to me.

gr

Lots of impressive cred from the players. Now to see if they can build a pilot that actually works. While this appears to be a great thing - I wonder how well they've done their homework on building a fuel for a decreasing need? As ESSUs sophisticate the need to drop by the neighborhood Esso station rapidly decrease. And while there will always be a need for liquid fuels, gasoline - green or otherwise will steadily decline compared to jet fuel and diesel.

Even so, it appears that algae is *finally* having its day in the um, sunlight. Thanks in part to the "innovative" work of DOE's Aquatic Species study a while ago.

sulleny

I just hope none of the GM organisms turn out to like human flesh as much as CO2 and sunlight.

Berserker

These guys better get a move on. At the rate my heating oil is going up, I may need to take out a second house loan to fill my fuel tank.

boonies

Regarding funding to get this project going...
Imagine if they were an NFL team threatening to move out of town...the state govt. and local officials would be on DefCon Three panicking and throwing 200 mil plus at them ...not to mention tax breaks out the wazoo to build them a new playpen and keep the unwashed amused in the fall...Why isnt the state taking the lead with this and doing as we did in WW2? In months factories went from toothpaste and lawn mowers to grenades and bayonets etc. It didnt take 10 years and it wont if we get on it now!
Where is the sense of urgency?
Yes I know this is a high tech issue but the point is the same...where is the will to bear the burden to win??

boonies

Regarding funding to get this project going...
Imagine if they were an NFL team threatening to move out of town...the state govt. and local officials would be on DefCon Three panicking and throwing 200 mil plus at them ...not to mention tax breaks out the wazoo to build them a new playpen and keep the unwashed amused in the fall...Why isnt the state taking the lead with this and doing as we did in WW2? In months factories went from toothpaste and lawn mowers to grenades and bayonets etc. It didnt take 10 years and it wont if we get on it now!
Where is the sense of urgency?
Yes I know this is a high tech issue but the point is the same...where is the will to bear the burden to win??

boonies

Regarding funding to get this project going...
Imagine if they were an NFL team threatening to move out of town...the state govt. and local officials would be on DefCon Three panicking and throwing 200 mil plus at them ...not to mention tax breaks out the wazoo to build them a new playpen and keep the unwashed amused in the fall...Why isnt the state taking the lead with this and doing as we did in WW2? In months factories went from toothpaste and lawn mowers to grenades and bayonets etc. It didnt take 10 years and it wont if we get on it now!
Where is the sense of urgency?
Yes I know this is a high tech issue but the point is the same...where is the will to bear the burden to win??

boonies

Regarding funding to get this project going...
Imagine if they were an NFL team threatening to move out of town...the state govt. and local officials would be on DefCon Three panicking and throwing 200 mil plus at them ...not to mention tax breaks out the wazoo to build them a new playpen and keep the unwashed amused in the fall...Why isnt the state taking the lead with this and doing as we did in WW2? In months factories went from toothpaste and lawn mowers to grenades and bayonets etc. It didnt take 10 years and it wont if we get on it now!
Where is the sense of urgency?
Yes I know this is a high tech issue but the point is the same...where is the will to bear the burden to win??

RAJESH KUMAR SHARMA

this would be a great help to mankind.
SIR,
Iam a student of B.Tech-M.Tech Int. in converging technologies at Centre for Converging Technologies,University of Rajasthan,Jaipur,India.
Iam making a project on this.I request you to please send me-"How can we take out energy from algae?"

RAJESH KUMAR SHARMA

this would be a great help to mankind.
SIR,
Iam a student of B.Tech-M.Tech Int. in converging technologies at Centre for Converging Technologies,University of Rajasthan,Jaipur,India.
Iam making a project on this.I request you to please send me-"How can we take out energy from algae?"

Dennis g martin

We have heard the talk, now where is product, where can I get 25 gallens to try, I see nothing but research, research, lets go folks we need to stop the cash drain on forgien oil,

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