Getting by with a little help from my friends

June 11, 2013 |

BioProcess Algae has already made enormous progress commercializing algae farming technology for food and feed products. Now, those private investments will be boosted by the DOE and the result will be an industry that takes a step closer to commercial fuels from algae.

The BioProcess Algae projects builds out to five-acre scale in Shenandoah, Iowa

The BioProcess Algae projects builds out to five-acre scale in Shenandoah, Iowa

Meanwhile, in New Mexico another well-known example of coordinated effort is making enormous strides in commercialization. Sapphire Energy opened the world’s first Green Crude Farm, and recently inked a deal to sell the algae-derived crude oil for refining into drop-in fuels by Tesoro.

To build this first-of-its-kind farm Sapphire was awarded significant support from the Department of Energy and the Department of Agriculture. These federal agencies combined with the private investment that has helped propel Sapphire to develop their innovative Green Crude technology platform.

Sapphire

Sapphire Energy’s Green Crude Farm

This is exactly how public-private partnerships can accelerate the potential for a new technology to scale up, increase energy supplies and enhance national security.  Sapphire and BioProcess Algae are not alone in working cooperatively to pool private resources and the public interest. Phycal, Cellana, Algenol and others are working with the DOE, DOD, USDA, FAA and several national labs to leverage private investments and make algae-derived fuels and other sustainable products a reality for consumers.

ABO is grateful for the continued support of the many various agencies at the local, state and federal levels. The value of this cooperation transcends any strict ideology, any single research finding, or any one investment in a high-risk endeavor made by individuals or government agency. Each has a role to play in the process. Some support the R&D, while others provide the support that can attract the investments needed to build large, commercial facilities.

And they are succeeding. Fuels and feeds are being produced, offered to consumers and expansion plans are in place all over the nation.

Without the cooperative effort of the entire industry, investors, and agencies that recognize the value of new and sustainable sources of energy, this rising tide might not be possible.

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