Sapphire Energy commissions commercial-scale algae-to-biofuels plant in New Mexico
Mary Page Bailey
Sapphire Energy, Inc. (San Diego, Calif.; www.sapphireenergy.com) has commissioned what is being called the world’s first commercial algae-to-biofuels demonstration plant, to be located in New Mexico. 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 gal. of diesel and jet fuel per year. The purpose of the demonstration project is to prove 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.