Green crude

How it works: The algae created by Sapphire produce an oil that is molecularly similar to light sweet crude. This oil can be processed in existing refineries to make petrol, diesel and jet fuel.
Date:21 November 2012 Tags:, , ,

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.

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