If it works, this could be great/terrible. Sapphire Energy announced yesterday that they have been able to take algae and mix in sunlight, CO2 and other photosynthetic microorganisms to make 91 octane gasoline "that conforms to ASTM certification." The renewable gasoline, as Sapphire calls it, contains "high-value hydrocarbons chemically identical to those in gasoline," which could potentially lower gas prices (depending on how much it costs to make a gallon of this stuff) but won't do much for CO2 emissions from vehicles. One good side is that the algae need CO2 to grow. The overall carbon dioxide balance was not disclosed by Sapphire, but I've sent in an email to see how much CO2 the algae need to make the gasoline. It'd be nice to learn this in the early stages, since Sapphire's rubric is "to be the world's leading producer of renewable petrochemical products," CEO Jason Pyle said in a statement.


UPDATE: A Sapphire representative sent ABG this information: "The Sapphire gasoline will be chemically equivalent to current high octane gasoline which means it will have the same energy characteristics (BTU per gallon etc) and release the same amount of CO2 into the environment as traditional gasoline. However every single carbon atom in the Sapphire gasoline is extracted from the environment as CO2, thus the product it will be carbon neutral."

[Source: Sapphire Energy]


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