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Sapphire Energy is now working on scaling up its production of the world's first renewable crude oil

A green crude oil production company has paid off its loan guarantee to the U.S. government early and in full. 

Sapphire Energy, a producer of the world’s first renewable crude oil, fully repaid its $54.5 million loan guarantee early. The loan was awarded to Sapphire Energy by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2009 through the Biorefinery Assistance Program.

“Sapphire Energy is very grateful to the USDA for supporting algae crude oil as an alternative source of energy as well as our vision to make this industry a reality,” said Cynthia ‘CJ’ Warner, CEO and chairman of Sapphire Energy. “With their backing, we did exactly what we set out to do. We grew our company, advanced our algae technologies, and built, on time and on budget, the first, fully operational, commercial demonstration, algae-to-energy facility that delivers a proven process for producing refinery-ready Green Crude oil. We could not have built this first of a kind facility without the support of the USDA. Moving forward, our focus is on commercializing our technology and expanding operations to bring crude oil production to commercial demonstration scale as planned.”


Sapphire Energy is now working on scaling up its production of the world's first renewable crude oil. The company built its Green Crude Farm, which promotes algae crude oil production from cultivation to extraction. Its biofuel is made from photosynthetic microorganisms like algae and cyanobacteria, and uses sunlight and carbon dioxide as their feedstock. Also, its biofuel is not dependent on food crops or farmland, does not use potable water, does not result in biodiesel or ethanol, and is low carbon, renewable and scalable. 
 
The farm has created over 600 jobs throughout its phase 1 construction with about 30 full-time employees currently operating the facility. 
 
Sapphire Energy plans to produce 100 barrels of crude oil per day in 2015, and hit commercial-scale production in 2018.

This isn't the first government loan to be paid off early this year. Back in May, Tesla Motors repaid its $465 million loan to the U.S. Department of Energy nine years early

Source: Sapphire Energy



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RE: Excellent
By Guspaz on 8/1/2013 4:22:29 PM , Rating: 3
EVs are not remotely cheap enough to be a practical mass-market solution yet, (and won't be for a decade or two), but I take issue with two of your points. First, that it needs to travel 12+ hours (few gasoline vehicles can do that either), and secondly that it can't do quick refills (Tesla does automated battery swaps faster than filling a gas tank).

You're still right about 10-20+ years before EVs really go mass market (making up the majority of sales), but I think the reasons for that are different (pure cost).


RE: Excellent
By Mint on 8/2/2013 12:35:48 PM , Rating: 2
EVs are very close to being cheap enough for mass scale. All they need is smartphone-like financing.

Imagine buying a car and then having a monthly plan to use it ($100/mo for 1000 miles, 10c/mile overage) that was a bit cheaper than gasoline costs for most regular cars. Over 15 years, this works out to $18000 in revenue, and given the proven reliability of electric motors, it should last even longer.

A few grand would go towards refurbishing battery packs (which are much cheaper 5-10 years from now), but the rest can go towards discounting the upfront cost, just like a two year contract discounts a smartphone.

We don't have that yet in the US, but we do have $199/mo leases from several cars. Only the worst gas powered econoboxes can match that in lease+fuel costs.


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