Sapphire Energy’s 'green crude' farm comes online

At Sapphire Energy's Green Crude Farm in Columbus, NM, 1.1 and 2.2 acre ponds cultivate algae cultures in the high desert in New Mexico.

Sapphire Energy’s commercial algae crude oil farm came online Monday in southern New Mexico after 14 months of construction.

When completed, the project, now in a commercial demonstration phase, will have 300 acres of algae cultivation. Sapphire has developed a process to turn algae into crude oil, which can be used in many of the ways drilled oil can be used.

“What was once a concept is now a reality and model for growing algae to make a renewable crude oil for energy,” Cynthia "CJ" Warner, CEO and chairman of Sapphire, said in a news release.

With only sunlight and carbon dioxide, Sapphire Energy is turning algae into renewable, low-carbon “green crude”. Sapphire has already developed technology to produce transportation fuels, including 91-octane gasoline, 89-cetane diesel and jet fuel. By 2014, the facility hopes to produce 100 barrels of green crude per day. The average production of an oil well in Texas is fewer than nine barrels per day.

Read more at the New Mexico Business Weekly.

And for more images of the Sapphire Energy "green crude" farm, click here.

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