Bill Gates Invests in Algae-Based Biofuels

Bill Gates and Algae Biofuels photo

Windows Money for Algae Fuels
Bill Gates' Cascade Investment is putting money in Sapphire Energy, one more firm (see 15 Algae Biofuels Startups to Watch) trying to make second generation biofuels out of algae. The company announced that it has raised more than $100 million. Not bad for a 1-year old company.

"The San Diego-based company hopes to make commercial amounts of the fuel in three to five years for a cost of $50 to $80 per barrel. Sapphire selects and genetically modifies algae to maximize their internal production of lipids, or fats and then squeezes that from algae. It says the oil can be used in refineries like normal crude."

The money more than doubles initial investor of about $50 million the company got in June.

Production Goals
It plans to produce about 10,000 barrels a day, and last May it announced that it succeeded in creating "ASTM-certifiable 91 octane gasoline", the premium fuel at the pump, from algae.

Now it just needs to do so cheaply and greenly. Another company to watch in the algae field is Solazyme.

Via Reuters, CNet
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