Algae have been used to make fuel in laboratories, but their low yield and high cost haven’t made them profitable on an industrial scale. San Diego-based Sapphire Energy has built a 120 ha integrated algal biorefinery in New Mexico to prove the concept can pay. The facility will be finished courtesy of a R1,2 billion influx from investors. It’s expected to produce about 5,6 million litres of crude by 2014 for about R700 a barrel. – Alex Hutchinson
Video: Watch the video Introducing… Sapphire Energy’s algal biorefinery showing how Sapphire Energy is working to solve some of the world’s most critical issues.