Sapphire Energy Inc., a world leader in algae-based green crude oil production, in conjunction with Phillips 66, an integrated energy manufacturing and logistics company, have announced their joint development intent to aggressively pursue the commercialization of algae crude oil.
The ultimate goal is to meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) fuel certifications and prepare Sapphire Energy’s renewable crude oil for wide-scale oil refineries. In order to meet this goal, the companies will need to collect and analyze data from co-processing algae and conventional crude oil into fuels. Sapphire Energy and Phillips 66 plan to expand Sapphire’s current testing program to validate that their green crude can be refined in traditional refineries and meet the EPA’s certification requirements under the Clean Air Act. Moreover, they will also need to determine the optimal operating conditions for processing algae crude oil in American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), certified diesel and jet fuel.
Currently, Sapphire Energy is now producing crude oil daily from algae biomass cultivated and harvested at the company’s Green Crude Farm, located in Columbus, New Mexico. The farm is the first algae-to-energy facility that demonstrates the entire value chain of algae-based crude oil production, from cultivation, to harvest, to the conversion of biomass into ready-to-refine crude oil.
The company expects to reach commercial demonstration scale in 2015, commercial scale in 2018, and is eventually projected to produce 1 billion gallons per year by 2025.