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Bill Gates Invests in Algae Fuel

Arguably the world's most famous billionaire dork, Bill Gates, has just plopped some cash down on one of EcoGeek's favorite technologies...algae fuel.

Sapphire Energy, which hopes to create fuel for cars from algae, is undergoing series B financing, and Gates and several other large investment companies brought up Sapphire's total invested capital to $100 M.

That's a pretty good hunk of change, but when you're trying to replace a trillion dollar industry, it's not so impressive.

Algae is especially good at creating fats using only the energy in the sun and carbon dioxide from the air. Some aglaes have been engineered to cheap levitra 50mg actually be more fat than algae (sounds like a pretty American idea.) The fat can then be refined into biodiesel with a much smaller footprint than current crops like soy, corn or rape. Tons of new startups are working on this particular solution to our problems, and so far I like what I'm seeing.

Sapphire wants to refine the fats directly into gasoline that could be used in today's vehicles. That possibility is very enticing for investors, as it could go to market immediately. But the best-case estimates predict that Sappire's "Green Crude" won't be on the market for three to five years.

Via CNet Greentech

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Comments (7)Add Comment
written by Steve N. Lee, September 18, 2008
Personally, I like the idea of algae fuel alternatives than those derived from biomass such as corn.

Pratically, once the technology is nailed, it seems far greener than the generic cialis sale alternatives, plus it means our lands won't be laid waste to in order to produce the vast quantities of corn we need to both eat and refine.

Aethetically, it's better too as, in theory, algae could actually be grown anywhere, e.g on building roofs, etc, so huge swathes of best cialis our lands won't simply be mile upon mile of unending fields of crops.

Finally, technologically, algae should be easier to grow as it isn't so reliant on weather, pesticides, water, etc. It's simply more resilent to the every day problems to which crops are prone.

Let's hope that 3-5 years errs on the cautious side and we see it sooner rather than later.

Steve N. Lee
author of eco-blog
and suspense thriller 'What if...?'
What about the water impact
written by John Martinez, September 18, 2008
I like the idea of algae fuel - it has a certain elegance to the idea. But most of the proposal's I have heard involve growing it in really sunny, dry places like Nevada or Arizona. Do we know if anybody has run the numbers on the water required to do this? I mean, effectively, the algae is viagrabest viagra just another plant crop, isn't it? How much water is required per gallon of 'gasoline-equivalent' fuel output, and can the western US support this?

I sure don't know the look here buy viagra professional answer, but It'd be nice to follow link original viagra know somebody is looking at the question before we get too excited about this ramping up...
written by dbell, September 18, 2008
Where does the water for this come from? Does it have to be filtered, potable water? If so how will this fuel help the looming water crisis?
re: water
written by gs, September 18, 2008
I'm not sure about these particular strains, but some strains of algae can grow in salt-water. I know that bio-fuels are already being produced from algae grown this way. If they could do it on a larger scale it would solve the water issue pretty easily.
Thoughts on Algae Fuel and Water Use
written by Mittop, September 18, 2008
A couple of thoughts.

1) Algae Biofuel appears to be an excellent choice for biofuel production. Per acre yields in current experiments appear quite high compared to corn, etc.

2) Based on the work done in Algae use in other products (did you know that the red gel in gel caps is produced from Algae, alot of it grown in Hawaii?) a great deal of the water is recovered during the course of the production process. I am not aware of current data on water efficiency, but I speculate that Algae Fuel would be a great candidate for Grey Water use.

3) Has anyone heard anything on the 4th gen versions of these fuels? I am referring to folks like Craig Venter who are working to directly engineer species that produce the fuel in the cell, skipping the look there viagra without prescription harvesting process altogether (you can listen to Craig's talk on The little critters actually excrete the fuel directly)?

Oh, love the blog. Keep up the great work!
I likes it
written by Hadeem, September 23, 2008
Considering certain scientists have been positing that the seas are becoming more carbonated and more algae will thrive in these conditions, which pose a threat to generic cialis from canada the rest of the sea life, I'd say this is a sensible alternative that can kill many birds, tasty tasty birds. This and only today ordering viagra overnight delivery the new ethanol-creating bacteria are intriguing and nice to hear. Maybe people will even get paid for the grass clippings.
Green Real Estate Literally?
written by Some random dog at a keybored, September 24, 2008
Neat - but every approach has its flip side - where are they going to grow this in quantity? Maybe we convert the Great Lakes and San Francisco Bay to giant algae farms surrounded by algae refineries?

Any metrics on output of buy low price cialis gas per acre of algae?

Not to worry. At the end of the day we're all going to become soylent green anyway (yum, my favorite!)

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