At Sapphire Energy, Chromatin and SG Biofuels, an influx of new talent was announced that continues to confirm that the promise of advanced biofuels is attracting top-tier talents from the financial, agricultural, and biotech communities.
SOUTHERN NEW MEXICO – Columbus will be home to Luna County’s first green energy facility—literally green, in this case.
Algae will be cultivated by Sapphire Energy in man-made ponds about 8 miles west of Columbus on the Mexican border, to later be converted to a green goop called algae-based biofuel, oilgae, or algal fuel.
WASHINGTON -(Dow Jones)- The former chief investment officer of the Troubled Asset Relief Program has landed at a San Diego, Calif., energy company that produces a form of crude oil by using algae, sunlight and carbon dioxide.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Leaders from the agricultural, research, industrial, academic and public policy sectors of the biofuels industry will meet April 13-14 at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Albuquerque for the Southwestern Biofuels Association (SWBA) Annual Policy Summit to discuss new challenges facing biofuels development and strategies to advance renewable fuels in New Mexico and the Southwest.
At this year’s Summit, an expert group convened by New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and the New Mexico congressional delegation will unveil “Toward a New Mexico State Plan for Biofuels Leadership,” a comprehensive roadmap designed to make New Mexico a major player in the development and commercialization of next-generation biofuels.
Venture capital firms have invested almost $20 billion into hundreds of greentech startups since 2005. All of these firms are looking to launch a disruptive force into their target markets, scale rapidly and grow quickly.
Very few of these firms will actually make it.
We put our energy analysts, reporters and editors to the task of picking fifty VC startups in greentech that have at least a fighting chance of succeeding as VC-funded startups and making an impact on our energy-intensive lives.
The former head of the U.S. Export-Import Bank and Chief Investment Officer of the U.S. Treasury Department’s Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) is bringing his copious financial knowledge to algae-biofuels producer Sapphire Energy.
Sapphire Energy began in 2007 with a debate between three friends: entrepreneur and bioengineer Jason Pyle; Kristina Burow, a chemist turned venture capitalist; and Nathaniel David, a biologist and serial company builder. Their issue under debate: “Why is the biofuel industry spending so much time and energy to manufacture ethanol — a fundamentally inferior fuel?” By the end of this debate, the seeds had been planted for a revolutionary biofuel company, with the goal to be the world’s leading producer of renewable petrochemical products.
Sapphire Energy's planned biofuel refinery in Luna County will use water responsibly, the company says.
Tim Zenk, vice president of corporate affairs for the San Diego-based alternative fuel developer, said the facility's operations will resemble that of a rice paddy.
"Sort of an open pond setting," he said. "If you can imagine what a rice paddy looks like, but with much more technology."
In a nutshell, the facility will grow algae within ponds to refine into fuel. The planned open ponds at the facility has sparked concern among some locals on the chance for an ideal mosquito breeding ground. Zenk hopes to put those concerns down.
In a face-off between academia and industry, algae biofuel companies have made a joint statement decrying recent research that highlights algae’s drawbacks.
A study citing limitations of algae fuel production is being widely assailed by algae producers.
The research, published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, found that algae production can be energy intensive and can end up emitting more greenhouse gases than it sequesters.
ABO Believes That Reliance on Obsolete Data and Faulty Assumptions Undermines All Conclusions
WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Algal Biomass Organization (ABO), the trade association for the algae industry, today challenged the conclusions of a published report in Environmental Science and Technology claiming that “conventional crops have lower environmental impacts than algae in energy use, greenhouse gas emissions and water.” The report was based upon obsolete data and grossly outdated business models, and overlooked tremendous improvements in technology and processes across the production cycle. ABO believes strongly that these obsolete data and faulty assumptions seriously undermine the credibility of the study’s conclusions.
“We appreciate and support the interest in algae among the scientific community, and agree that examination of the life cycle impacts of algae for fuel processes is important”
“We appreciate and support the interest in algae among the scientific community, and agree that examination of the life cycle impacts of algae for fuel processes is important,” said Mary Rosenthal, executive director of ABO. “However, we expect such research to be based on current information, valid assumptions and proven facts. Unfortunately, this report falls short of those standards with its use of decades-old data and errant assumptions of current production and refining technologies.”