Many of us have driven up to a favorite fast-food restaurant to order some golden french fries or an apple pie. When a SeQuential Pacific Biodiesel truck pulls into a fast-food parking lot, the driver usually isn’t there for lunch—instead, the truck comes for the restaurant’s used fryer oil. In 2013, SeQuential turned the oil from 7,000 restaurants into 6 million gallons of biodiesel, a biomass-based substitute for ordinary petroleum diesel. The production figure was an increase from 5 million gallons of fuel in 2012.
This year's Climate Leadership Conference was held in San Diego, and for good reason. The Golden State leads the nation in clean energy progress and innovation, thanks to its many forward-looking policies.
Building the case for an advanced governmental policy toward the view of algae as an agricultural crop, Emily M. Trentacoste, of Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Alice M. Martinez, Sapphire Energy, Inc.; and Tim Zenk, representing the Algae Biomass Organization, have published a must-read article in the Journal of the International Society of Photosynthesis Research that should be widely distributed to all governmental policy makers with responsibility for setting agricultural priorities.
Have a wonderful strain of algae, but struggle to find a project location that optimizes climate, inputs and infrastructure?
With Zillow not yet providing real estate services for choosy microbes, PNNL and Sapphire Energy come to the rescue.
WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - Mar 10, 2014) - The Algae Biomass Organization (ABO), the trade association for the algae industry, today lauded a new publication from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in partnership with Sapphire Energy, "Siting Algae Cultivation Facilities for Biofuel Production in the United States: Trade-Offs between Growth Rate, Site Constructability, Water Availability, and Infrastructure," in the journal Environmental Science and Technology. The publication highlights a new process for rigorously identifying and evaluating sites for commercial algae production facilities.
Locating sites for new algae cultivation facilities is a complex task. The climate must support high growth rates, and cultivation ponds require appropriate land and water resources as well as transportation and utility infrastructure.
Algae has been touted as the ultimate platform for fuels, chemicals, nutraceuticals, proteins — even cancer therapies. There’s been a rate of progress that would impress any devotee of Moore’s Law — and a series of wacky claims that would impress any devotee of P.T. Barnun. So, what are the real trends?
The world’s first commercial algae-to-biofuels demonstration plant is being commissioned in New Mexico by Sapphire Energy. Spread out over 300 acres, when fully operational the biofuels plant will be able to produce about 100 barrels per day of what Sapphire Energy calls “green crude,” enough to produce about one million gallons of diesel and jet fuel per year. The purpose of the demonstration project is to prove out the technology at a sufficiently large scale to enable investment in much larger commercial projects later in the decade. Though the project received a grant from the Department of Energy and a loan guarantee from the Department of Agriculture, the New Mexico plant was primarily funded by private investment.
Company description: San Diego-based Sapphire Energy is pioneering an entirely new industry – Green Crude Production – with the potential to profoundly change America’s energy and petrochemical landscape for the better. Sapphire’s products and processes in this category differ significantly from other forms of biofuel because they are made solely from photosynthetic microorganisms (algae), using sunlight and CO2 as their feedstock; are not dependent on food crops or valuable farmland; do not use potable water; do not result in biodiesel or ethanol; enhance and replace petroleum-based products; and are low carbon. Green Crude can be refined into the three most important liquid fuels used by our society: gasoline, diesel and jet fuel. The fuels meet ASTM standards and are compatible with the existing petroleum infrastructure, from refinement through distribution and the retail supply chain.
Senator visits with eye on federal policies
On a tour Thursday, Jan. 23, of Sapphire Energy’s research and development facility in the West Mesa Industrial Park, U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich addressed the unique nature of the advanced biodiesel industry and the challenge it poses for legislators.