Sapphire Makes Case for Algae-Biofuels in Cap & Trade

John Davis

sapphireThe head of a company that is making energy out of algae wants lawmakers to ensure that their type of fuel is part of upcoming Cap and Trade legislation.

The president of Sapphire Energy, Cynthia J. Warner, testified today before the full U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works to encourage legislators to allow industries that produce carbon dioxide, such as coal-burning electric generators, to collect and transport their CO2 to companies like Sapphire Energy that make industrial waste and greenhouse gases (GHG) into low carbon gasoline, diesel and jet fuels:

“Sapphire Energy believes that the business opportunity presented by climate policy can be transformative as we enter this Green Era,” stated Warner. “By getting ahead of the curve, we can produce a new generation of transportation fuels for the world that are low-carbon, produced right here in the United States, and that generate renewed economic growth and new green-collar jobs.”

Sapphire Energy has successfully developed a process that with only sunlight and CO2 turns algae into fuels (gasoline, diesel and jet) that rival other alternatives. Sapphire’s Green Crude fuel not only fits into the current energy infrastructure as a complete drop-in replacement fuel, but it is scalable and can be grown on marginal desert lands in brackish or salt water, avoiding use of food crop lands. Most importantly, algae consume enormous amounts of CO2, drawn from both industrial and atmospheric sources, during its growth process.

“Sapphire’s algae-based fuels emit approximately two-thirds less CO2 than petroleum-based fuels at scale,” Warner explained. “When compared with conventional biofuels, such as corn ethanol and soy biodiesel, Sapphire’s Green Crude has significantly less than half their carbon impact, while delivering far greater energy density than either alternative.”

Warner says re-using the carbon dioxide to grow algae would remove that greenhouse gas from the environment and create a sustainable energy supply. Plus, she points out that over the next few years the algae industry will directly create approximately 11,700 jobs and another 30,000 jobs from indirect sources.