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Algae Energy from Man-made Ponds. 2

Sapphire energy plans to build man-made ponds to grow algae and convert it into oil. The place they have chosen is Luna County, which is considered ideal for algae-based biofuel because of

a.Flat desert conditions.
b.High level of sunlight
c.Large amount of underground salt water.

Sapphire plans to use only brackish, or highly saline, water and concentrate on specific algae species, considering the region.

In New Mexico,there is an exemption for finding water that comes from below 2,500 feet and research studies reveal that Luna County has more brackish water than fresh water.

Sapphire energy is being funded by the Wellcome trust, Venrock and Rockfeller family. Interestingly,the construction of this facility would provide about 750 jobs to farmers and agriculturists of the Luna County, who have been unemployed.

Promotional material claims that the plant will reach commercial demonstration scale by 2012, commercial scale by 2018, and by 2025, 1-million gallons of green crude per year will come gurgling out of the plant.

Full article - http://elpasoinc.com/readArticle.aspx?issueid=278&xrec=5087
Thu April 08 2010 08:05:01 AM by Sumukhi algae  |  bioenergy  |  energy 1513 views

Comments - 2

  • Sun May 16 2010 08:12:57 AM

    Commercial demonstration scale by 2012. Obviously they are at the R&D stage. To escalate their efforts I would like to inform them of some obvious downsides to man made ponds. Contamination,limited surface area,reliance on good weather and evaporation of water.

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  • Narsi wrote:
    Sun May 16 2010 12:32:05 PM

    Well, well...I was under the impression Sapphire planned to do some high-tech genetic engineering with the hundreds of million of $ in funding?

    Anyway, it is good to know they are looking at natural algae strains, which I think is the way to go...

    But their timelines are a bit of a concern...1 million gallons by 2025? They ought to be kidding. The world currently uses 1.3 TRILLION gallons of oil every year!

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