Global demand for affordable, scalable, and sustainable sources of animal feed, food, and energy products are growing well beyond what today’s resources can provide. Foreseeing this need, a visionary group of scientists, entrepreneurs and industry leaders set out to develop new technology that would set the world on a path to a sustainable future. What started as a collaboration to examine how biotechnology could address the biggest challenges facing our world is today Sapphire Energy.
At Sapphire, we have developed a technology platform that uses non-potable water, such as seawater, and non-arable land to grow algae that captures CO2 in open ponds and provides us with renewable solutions that can improve people’s lives and make the planet more sustainable.
By focusing on these enormous challenges, Sapphire embarked on a new agricultural revolution—a cultivation platform capable of delivering low cost, highly valuable algae biomass. This algae biomass is a sustainable, renewable, and scalable source of high value Omega-3 oils, high value aquaculture and animal feed ingredients and renewable fuels. With more than 300 issued and pending patents across the technological spectrum, the Sapphire platform encompasses the full value chain of producing algae on a large scale—from strain development to cultivation, to harvest, to conversion. Sapphire is the first—and only—company to produce a renewable source of crude oil on a continuous basis from algae biomass, and to operate the largest algae-to-energy facility in the world. This achievement has allowed us to broaden our area of focus to address challenges in animal feed and food as well as energy.
Sapphire is addressing the world’s greatest challenges with a revolutionary approach to agriculture
Sapphire has three facilities across California and New Mexico. In 2010, the company began construction of the world’s first commercial demonstration algae-to-energy farm in Columbus, New Mexico, a project backed by a grant from the United States Department of Energy and a loan guarantee from the United States Department of Agriculture. Construction of Phase 1 was completed on-time and on-budget in 2012, and the company paid back the USDA loan guarantee in 2013.
Sapphire Energy is backed by a team of the nation’s leading researchers, scientists, and top-tier, long-term investors, such as The Wellcome Trust, ARCH Venture Partners, the Rockefeller family’s Venrock, Bill Gates’ Cascade Investment, and agriculture industry giant Monsanto. Sapphire has cultivated research and engineering partnerships with the Linde Group, Earthrise Nutritionals, Monsanto, and the Institute for Systems Biology, in addition to business agreements with Tesoro Refining and Marketing, Phillips 66, and Sinopec.
Sapphire is addressing the world’s greatest challenges with a revolutionary approach to agriculture—pioneering renewable products for global markets— with the potential to improve large scale, sustainable production of critical global needs—from animal feed and food to energy.