Rockefellers Invest in Algal Oil
Long before Bill Gates came along, there was John D. Rockefeller -- billionaire oil king. Now, the descendants of Rockefeller have joined Bill Gates in financing the production of algal oil for biofuels, by Sapphire Energy. And Sapphire Energy is promising to produce 1 billion gallons of algal biofuels per year (by 2025).
“Fuel from algae is not just a laboratory experiment or something to speculate on for years to come,” Dr Brian Goodall, a Sapphire vice president, told the New York Times. “We’ve worked tirelessly, and the technology is ready now.”
Two airlines have already made test flights using Sapphire’s algal fuel. In January, Continental airlines flew a 737-800 for two hours using a blend of 50-percent biofuel in one engine. The flight included a full-power takeoff and climb, cruise at 37,000 feet, descent, approach and landing and was considered a success. The second test took place on a Japan Airlines 747 powered by Pratt & Whitney engines, with a biofuel blend of camelina, jatropha, and algae.
...Sapphire isn’t the only company with big algae projects in the works. Blue Marble Energy creates fuel using algae found in polluted waters while a startup called Live Fuels is attempting to develop a green crude that can be fed directly into the US’s existing refinery system. San Francisco-based Solazyme has signed a big deal with Chevron. _Bioenergy