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Sapphire Energy unveils world’s first renewable gasoline

Sonoma, California – May 28, 2008 – Sapphire Energy announced today they have produced renewable 91 octane gasoline that conforms to ASTM certification, made from a breakthrough process that produces crude oil directly from sunlight, CO2 and photosynthetic microorganisms, beginning with algae.
“Sapphire’s goal is to be the world’s leading producer of renewable petrochemical products,” said CEO and co-founder Jason Pyle, speaking from the influential Simmons Alternative Energy Conference. “Our goal is to produce a renewable fuel without the downsides of current biofuel approaches.
UPDATE: A Sapphire representative sent ABG this information: "The Sapphire gasoline will be chemically equivalent to current high octane gasoline which means it will have the same energy characteristics (BTU per gallon etc) and release the same amount of CO2 into the environment as traditional gasoline. However every single carbon atom in the Sapphire gasoline is extracted from the environment as CO2, thus the product it will be carbon neutral."
 

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Great news. And then down the road this could open up some interesting 'fuel chemistry' 'improvements'. You take this one plus the one converting coal plant exhaust.....
 

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April Fool????? This is almost TOO good.
 

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April Fool????? This is almost TOO good.
So in 10 years, when the are ready for market, don't you think the manufacturers are going to be moving on from fossil fuels? Same emmissions, higher price, wow. They are investing in the fueling of used cars. Great breakthrough but not a sustainable business plan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So in 10 years, when the are ready for market, don't you think the manufacturers are going to be moving on from fossil fuels? Same emmissions, higher price, wow. They are investing in the fueling of used cars. Great breakthrough but not a sustainable business plan.
A flex fuel engine can run on:

-- gasoline
-- this algae engineered gasoline
-- corn ethanol
-- cellulosic ethanol.
-- Any combination of the above.

If you are a manufacturer, why gamble on which technology will succeed or be the cheapest 20 years from now? Just make an engine that can use any or all of them.
 

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A flex fuel engine can run on:

-- gasoline
-- this algae engineered gasoline
-- corn ethanol
-- cellulosic ethanol.
-- Any combination of the above.

If you are a manufacturer, why gamble on which technology will succeed or be the cheapest 20 years from now? Just make an engine that can use any or all of them.
Especially when the cost to the consumer to have such an engine is minimal.

As is the case with any kind of alternative fuel.... lots of people are throwing things at the wall, only some will stick, but unless we invest in R&D for alternative fuels we end up with what we invest, nothing. Also, anything that produces ethanol and does not impact the food supply is only a positive.
 

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A flex fuel engine can run on:

-- gasoline
-- this algae engineered gasoline
-- corn ethanol
-- cellulosic ethanol.
-- Any combination of the above.

If you are a manufacturer, why gamble on which technology will succeed or be the cheapest 20 years from now? Just make an engine that can use any or all of them.
I agree 1,000%. (Heck, here in East Alabama, I couldn't even find a 4WD Silverado last month with FlexFuel so I ended up with without it.)
 

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Yah, these articles at times seem prone to hyperbole and seem like propaganda, but I am nonetheless intrigued by the possibilities. When thinking about alternative, renewable energy sources, I cannot help but cast the goal in its proper light:

...Domestic production a matter of national security, economic growth

A new domestic energy platform based on sunlight and CO2 has the economic potential to herald a tectonic market shift as well as make the country more secure. Last year, the nation imported over $200 billion of foreign oil, and, with oil prices reaching record heights every week, that number is expected to increase dramatically. Protecting these strategic overseas interests is an increasingly expensive proposition.

“It is imperative, both economically and for national security reasons, that American companies figure out ways to produce oil here at home,” said Sapphire co-founder Kristina Burow of ARCH Venture Partners, the company’s founding investor. “Imagine if even a portion of the $200 billion we spend on foreign crude stayed here: The payoff in new jobs, and domestic economic growth would be huge.”
 

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If this is true and feasible, it most certainly could be one of the most influential discoveries by mankind...ever. Think of the economic destruction that would (and probably will) occur once oil runs out and there are no technologies remaining to replace fossil fuels? The world as we know it will get caught with its pants down and it will be a huge tragedy. Think of all the things you use everyday that require petroleum products to manufacture:
electronics, computer circuitry, tupperware, plastic mouldings etc, makeup, tires, rubber products, fertilizer, lubricants, paint, ....the list goes ON and ON.........
How many of those things can you give up and still live your life normally? Probably about 5% with how our world functions today. I don't know the exact figure but there is roughly 10 million barrels of oil being pumped out of the ground EVERY DAY (I just watched a documentary on oil lately). I do not see this proposed technology as being a direct replacement for fossil fuels in all of their uses. The industry still needs to transition to a new type of energy ie. replacing gas in cars with something else. Fossil fuels as an energy source will probably be the last use if this new technology takes off becuase the bare products will be the priority.
 

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So in 10 years, when the are ready for market, don't you think the manufacturers are going to be moving on from fossil fuels? Same emmissions, higher price, wow. They are investing in the fueling of used cars. Great breakthrough but not a sustainable business plan.
Not necessarily. One of the biggest warts with alternative fuels is, that they do not possess the energy density of petroleum based fuels. Replacements to fossil fuels will require the acceptance and adaptation of a world with a widely diversified energy platform - something that would be a good idea anyway, to avoid energy shocks like what we are experiencing now.
 

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This is totally legit, I watched a 35 minute seminar video by a company using a similar process (linked to on this site, btw), and they are very close to taking this mainstream. As in they could be producing in small quantities w/in 18 months.
 

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Sounds pretty good. Algae is amazingly cool stuff if it is working for you.
 

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Not necessarily. One of the biggest warts with alternative fuels is, that they do not possess the energy density of petroleum based fuels. Replacements to fossil fuels will require the acceptance and adaptation of a world with a widely diversified energy platform - something that would be a good idea anyway, to avoid energy shocks like what we are experiencing now.
The thing is though, this stuff, when refined, is chemically identical to normal unleaded gasoline. No energy density loss.
 

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Especially when the cost to the consumer to have such an engine is minimal.

As is the case with any kind of alternative fuel.... lots of people are throwing things at the wall, only some will stick, but unless we invest in R&D for alternative fuels we end up with what we invest, nothing. Also, anything that produces ethanol and does not impact the food supply is only a positive.
So true about the cost potential - don't need the friggin' battery. Its really an exciting time We're finally picking up on so many things we laid off of in the '80s. Get all the 'trash' in there - with the above and start seriously the real begnning of energy independence.
 

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So in 10 years, when the are ready for market, don't you think the manufacturers are going to be moving on from fossil fuels? Same emmissions, higher price, wow. They are investing in the fueling of used cars. Great breakthrough but not a sustainable business plan.
My V8 Camaro SS will be less than 5 years old
 

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Algae to fuel is a good thing.
If there's one thing I'm confident we won't run out of it's sunshine.
 
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