Sapphire, Linde Partner to Turn Algae into Crude Oil

John Davis

SapphireLindeSan Diego-based Green Crude – oil made from algae – producer Sapphire Energy, Inc. and German gasses and engineering company The Linde Group have partnered to commercialize a new industrial scale technology to turn algae biomass into crude oil. The five-year deal is to go through the development of Sapphire Energy’s first commercial scale, algae-to-energy production facility.

“Sapphire Energy is very pleased to build upon its already successful strategic partnership with Linde to build a commercial oil upgrading process designed to increase yield and lower the cost of crude oil production,” said Cynthia ‘CJ’ Warner, CEO and chairman of Sapphire Energy. “Large energy projects like we are building require very significant partnerships to fund the development of new technologies and make available engineering resources needed to bring these projects on line at commercial scale. We think Linde is a perfect partner to help Sapphire achieve this goal.”

“We have been working with Sapphire Energy for two years to develop a cost-efficient CO2 delivery system for commercial algae production. We have become confident with the company’s expertise and its capability to produce a low carbon and economic energy source from algae. After the positive experience gained, we decided to intensify our cooperation with Sapphire,” said Professor Dr. Aldo Belloni, Member of the Executive Board of Linde AG. “Based upon our profound engineering expertise, we will contribute to further develop and scale up Sapphire’s algae-to-crude-oil technology.”

Linde and Sapphire Energy energy have been working on a low cost, CO2 management system for open pond, algae-to-fuel production, since May 2011.