Sapphire Energy, Inc., one of the world leaders in algae-based green crude oil production, today announced the first phase of its Green Crude Farm, the world’s first commercial demonstration algae-to-energy facility, is now operational. Construction of this first phase, which began on June 1, 2011, was completed on time and on budget.
When completed, the facility will produce 1.5 million gallons per year of crude oil and consist of approximately 300 acres of algae cultivation ponds and processing facilities. By reaching this key milestone, Sapphire Energy is on target to make algae-based Green Crude a viable alternative fuel solution capable of significantly reducing the nation’s need for foreign crude oil, which will serve as the blueprint for scalable algae biofuel facilities globally.
Sapphire Energy, a company that creates algae-based fuel, just announced a whopping $144 million in funding.
In recent years several startups have emerged to create fuel out of plant material, all hoping to lure people away from gasoline made from crude oil. Solazyme, Algae.tec, and Sapphire Energy all dominate the space, trying to edge out not only each other but oil companies as well.
All three companies covert algae into a petroleum replacement, one that can work with the traditional cars we already have on the road.
Algae biofuel is getting a massive infusion of money. Startup Sapphire Energy, which uses synthetic biology to make a green crude out of algae that can be turned into gas, diesel or jet fuel, announced on Monday that it’s raising $144 million in a Series C round from investors including agriculture company Monsanto. Previous investors in Sapphire include Bill Gates’ investment firm Cascade Investment and Sapphire has also raised a $50 million grant from the Department of Energy and a $54.4 million dollar loan guarantee from the Department of Agriculture.
Sapphire Energy has announced it has entered into a licensing agreement with Earthrise Nutritionals LLC, Southern California-based producer of spirulina and spirulina-based products, to integrate Earthrise’s spirulina strain into Sapphire’s growing inventory of cyanobacteria and algae strains for algae-to-energy production. As a result of this agreement, Sapphire significantly improves its operational efficiency by expanding the range of strain choices available for producing Sapphire Energy’s Green Crude – a drop-in replacement for petroleum-based crude oil – that can be refined into diesel, jet fuel, and gasoline.