Sapphire Energy, Inc., one of the world leaders in algae-based Green Crude oil production, and the technology company The Linde Group today announced they will expand their partnership to commercialize a new industrial scale conversion technology needed to upgrade algae biomass into crude oil. Together, the companies will refine the hydrothermal treatment process developed and operated today by Sapphire Energy at pilot-scale. In addition, they will jointly license and market the technology into an expanded list of industries, including algae, municipal solid waste, and farm waste, in order to upgrade other biomass sources into energy. The agreement spans a minimum of five years through the development of Sapphire Energy’s first commercial scale, algae-to-energy production facility.
“Sapphire Energy is very pleased to build upon its already successful strategic partnership with Linde to build a commercial oil upgrading process designed to increase yield and lower the cost of crude oil production,” said Cynthia ‘CJ’ Warner, CEO and chairman of Sapphire Energy. “Large energy projects like we are building require very significant partnerships to fund the development of new technologies and make available engineering resources needed to bring these projects on line at commercial scale. We think Linde is a perfect partner to help Sapphire achieve this goal.”
“We have been working with Sapphire Energy for two years to develop a cost-efficient CO2 delivery system for commercial algae production. We have become confident with the company’s expertise and its capability to produce a low carbon and economic energy source from algae. After the positive experience gained, we decided to intensify our cooperation with Sapphire,” said Professor Dr. Aldo Belloni, Member of the Executive Board of Linde AG. “Based upon our profound engineering expertise, we will contribute to further develop and scale up Sapphire’s algae-to-crude-oil technology.”
This growing partnership builds upon Linde’s and Sapphire Energy’s agreement to develop a low cost, CO2 management system for open pond, algae-to-fuel production, which was previously announced in May 2011. Linde, the leading merchant CO2 supplier in the U.S., also became the exclusive supplier of CO2 for Sapphire Energy`s commercial demonstration, algae-to-energy facility in Columbus, New Mexico. Today, this Green Crude Farm is operating year-round and producing barrels of crude oil daily.
About Sapphire Energy
San Diego-based Sapphire Energy is pioneering an entirely new industry – Green Crude production – with the potential to profoundly change America’s energy and petrochemical landscape for the better. Sapphire’s products and processes in this category differ significantly from other forms of biofuel because they are made solely from photosynthetic microorganisms (algae and cyanobacteria), using sunlight and CO2 as their feedstock; are not dependent on food crops or valuable farmland; do not use potable water; do not result in biodiesel or ethanol; enhance and replace petroleum-based products; are compatible with existing infrastructure; and are low carbon, renewable and scalable. Sapphire has an R&D facility in Las Cruces, New Mexico, and is currently operating the first Integrated Algal BioRefinery in Columbus, New Mexico, continuously since May 1, 2012.
About The Linde Group
The Linde Group is a world-leading gases and engineering company with around 62,000 employees in more than 100 countries worldwide. In the 2012 financial year, Linde generated revenue of EUR 15.280 bn. The strategy of the Group is geared towards long-term profitable growth and focuses on the expansion of its international business with forward-looking products and services. Linde acts responsibly towards its shareholders, business partners, employees, society and the environment – in every one of its business areas, regions and locations across the globe. The company is committed to technologies and products that unite the goals of customer value and sustainable development.
Under the “Clean Technology by Linde” label, the company offers a wide range of products and technologies that help to render renewable energy sources financially viable, and significantly slow down the depletion of fossil resources or reduce the level of CO2 emitted. This ranges from specialty gases for solar module manufacturing, industrial-scale CO2 separation and application technologies to alternative fuels and energy carriers such as liquefied natural gas (LNG) and hydrogen.
Source: Sapphire Energy, Inc., press release, 2013-07-16.