Algae - Green Crude
Green Crude is renewable crude oil that is a result of our proprietary process of turning sunlight, CO2, and algae into green oils to be refined into fuel. Our approach leverages the same industrial refining processes as current crude oil, yielding “drop-in” replacement transportation fuels that meet ASTM standards for gasoline, jet fuel, and diesel and that are environmentally sound, cost effective, and scalable.First- and second-generation biofuels are not compatible with the petroleum infrastructure while Green Crude fits within the existing infrastructure – from refinement through distribution, including the retail supply chain for cars, trucks, and airplanes.
Algae is uniquely suited to serve as the foundation for a new generation—the next industrial age—of renewable and low carbon transportation fuels. It addresses and solves many of the pressing issues of our time, from climate change, to energy security, to jobs. It sets an infrastructure that will require fewer compromises and more reliance on ourselves to feed our own energy consumption needs.
Algae is one of nature′s most prolific and efficient photosynthetic plants; in fact, it is the source of the earth′s crude oil when algae bloomed millions of years ago. why algae diagramNearly all of algae′s energy is concentrated in the chloroplast—the engine that turns sunlight and CO2 into organic carbon, resulting in oils easily refined into gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel. Further, algae has a short growing cycle and does not require arable land or potable water. Algae′s number one nutrient source is CO2, consuming 13 to 14 kg of C02 per gallon of green crude. Algae can be grown quickly in salt water in the desert.
The process for making algae into fuel at a very base level is this: Sunlight and CO2 are the source of energy and carbon dioxide, rather than sugar or other organic material. By applying the principals used in biotechnology, Sapphire has produced oil in algae that is highly branched and undecorated - the way that traditional crude is – to get a biological crude molecularly similar to light sweet crude. This Green Crude is then processed at a refinery just as traditional crude to make all three major distillates – gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel.
Environmental and Sustainable
Sapphire Energy's process requires two main inputs—sunlight and CO2. It uses nonpotable, salt water and grows on nonarable land in desert climates and therefore does not impact fresh water resources or lands needed to grow food crops.
Algae are the most efficient photosynthetic plants on the planet as no energy goes into making roots, stems, seeds, or flowers. More energy (roughly 6-50 times more) is produced per acre, per year, with algae versus other feedstocks.
Low Carbon Impact
Algae consume CO2 in the process of growing. Every gallon of algae crude oil takes in 13 to 14 kg of CO2. Sapphire's Green Crude has a well to wheels life cycle carbon impact that is roughly 70% less than fossil-based fuels, and significantly lower than other conventional biofuels.
A Complete Drop-in Replacement
Sapphire Energy's Green Crude is a complete “drop-in” transportation fuel and has equivalent or better energy density than the fossil fuels we currently use. It is compatible with the existing energy infrastructure, including the network of refineries, pipelines, distribution centers and the current fleet of cars, trucks, and jets.
Sapphire's scalable production facilities can grow easily and economically because production is modular, fueled by sunlight, and is not constrained by land or other natural resources.