Fueled by Sapphire Energy, Algaeus Demonstrates Reality of New Fuel Sourcee
NEW YORK, September 18, 2009 – Indicating the true start of the Green Age, Sapphire Energy, the leader in algae-based renewable fuel, joined with the team behind the award winning film FUEL, to complete the first cross-country car tour fueled by a blend of algae-based gasoline in an unmodified engine. The Algaeus completed its 10-day, 3,750 mile US tour that started in San Francisco and arrived into New York City today, September 18th.
The Algaeus represents a tangible peek into the very near future. Sapphire Energy provided the fuel, containing a mixture of hydrocarbons refined directly from algae-based Green Crude and extracted through Sapphire’s proprietary process. The vehicle is based on a 2008 Toyota Prius that has been given an added battery pack, a plug and an advanced energy management system. The Algaeus got an average of 147 mpg city in PHEV (plug in electric hybrid) mode and 52mpg highway in hybrid mode on the cross country tour.
“America has the opportunity to usher in a new, prosperous Green Age, by moving from ‘black’ to ‘green’ crude, while bettering the environment and solidifying energy security,” describes Jason Pyle, Sapphire Energy CEO. “We have all that we need at home to produce fuels from algae at a commercial scale in just a few years. The Algaeus is an example of a better solution that is domestically produced and climate friendly.”
Sponsored by the Veggie Van Organization, the cross-country trip celebrates the nationwide premiere of FUEL, the movie opening in theatres this week and aims to inspire green energy solution thinking, such as the Algaeus. “I thank Sapphire Energy for the incredible technology and trust they’ve placed in our hands to take this vehicle across the country with what is, today, perhaps the most advanced fuel on planet earth,” says Josh Tickell, creator of the Veggie Van Organization and director of the movie FUEL. “We’ve been petroleum dependent for 150 years and something has to change. We can sustain every human being with this kind of new technology.”
The algae-based fuel performed flawlessly. Josh Tickell and FUEL Producer, Rebecca Harrell, were behind the wheel for the entire 10-day trip and reported back that the algae fuel blend provided a fun and reliable driving experience. “It flew up the mountain passes in Utah and Wyoming, was fast on the straight-aways, and zipped around cities with gusto,” said Tickell. The duo recorded no loss in engine power, speed or acceleration with the small engine easily producing up to 20 kW of power.
On the tour, the Algaeus was greeted by thousands of constituents and dozens of high-ranking elected officials as it dotted across the nation, pulling into Washington, DC, September 17. A Capitol Hill press conference was held by Congressman Steve Israel (D-NY), co-chair of the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition, members of Congress, and celebrities Carol King and James Kyson Lee (NBC’s “Heroes”), as they emphasized the absolute urgency of driving green innovation. “The advanced energy technology to revolutionize the auto industry and end our dependence on foreign oil is there,” said Congressman Israel. “Now it is time for us to put it into action.” Congressman Jay Inslee (D-WA), a proponent for energy change, furthered the charge, “We must keep working to fully commercialize these technologies to ensure they are produced here in the US, so Americans and American workers see the full benefit.”
After New York, the Algaeus travels on a college educational tour with an interactive classroom retrofit “Green Energy Bus,” the Veggie Van Organization and the FUEL team. The benefits of algae will be highlighted in many on-campus screening events showcasing the thought provoking, Sundance award winning film, FUEL. Sapphire Energy and its partners hope to reach the leaders of tomorrow, inspiring students to do their part to support renewable fuel.
About Sapphire Energy:
San Diego-based Sapphire Energy is pioneering an entirely new industry – Green Crude Production – with the potential to profoundly change America’s energy and petrochemical landscape for the better. Sapphire’s products and processes in this category differ significantly from other forms of biofuel because they are made solely from photosynthetic microorganisms, using sunlight and CO2 as their feedstock; are not dependent on food crops or valuable farmland; do not use potable water; do not result in biodiesel or ethanol; enhance and replace petroleum-based products; and are low carbon, renewable and scalable. Finally, Green Crude can be refined into the three most important liquid fuels used by our society: gasoline, diesel and jet fuel. The fuels meet ASTM standards and are compatible with the existing petroleum infrastructure, from refinement through distribution and the retail supply chain.