Visit  cricatalyst.com!Nexus — Leaders in Greenhouse Systems Integration Check out more of The Buzz

Green Crude Farm Now Open in New Mexico

Sapphire Announces NM Algae Farm Phase 1 Completion

August 27, 2012
AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com

Sapphire Energy has announced the first phase of its Green Crude Farm – the world’s first commercial demonstration algae-to-energy facility – is now operational in Columbus, New Mexico. Construction of this first phase, which began on June 1, 2011, was completed on time and on budget, according to the company.

Today, the cultivation area consists of some of the largest algae ponds ever built with groupings of 1.1 acre and 2.2 acre ponds – which are 1/8 of a mile long. The initial phase also includes all the necessary mechanical and processing equipment to harvest and extract algae and recycle water for the 300-acre Green Crude Farm.

At full completion the facility will produce 1.5 million gallons per year of crude oil and consist of approximately 300 acres of algae cultivation ponds and processing facilities. By reaching this milestone, Sapphire representatives said, they are on target to make algae-based Green Crude a viable alternative fuel solution capable of significantly reducing the nation’s need for foreign crude oil, and will serve as the blueprint for scalable algae biofuel facilities globally.

The Green Crude Farm, also known as an Integrated Algal Bio-Refinery, was funded with both private and public funds, including $85 million in private investment from Sapphire Energy, backed by a USDA loan guarantee and a $50 million grant from the US DOE.

In March the first inoculation of ponds with algae took place and a series of “shakedown” tests began to ensure that all systems were working as planned. Today, the farming operations are exceeding Sapphire Energy’s internal productivity goals in terms of biomass yield, demonstrating that large-scale cultivation is possible and much larger cultivation systems can be implemented with the proper agronomic processes in place. The company harvested its first crop in June without any system difficulties and has since harvested 21 million gallons of algae biomass totaling 81 million tons. Next, the Green Crude Farm is preparing to transition its operations to a winter variety of algae while continuous cultivation, harvest and extraction activities continue.

“Bringing our Green Crude Farm online is not only an important accomplishment for Sapphire Energy, but a critical step toward a viable alternative energy future,” said Cynthia ‘CJ’ Warner, CEO and chairman of Sapphire Energy. “What was once a concept is now becoming a reality and model for growing algae to make a renewable crude oil for energy. We look forward to sharing our progress as the Green Crude Farm moves to its next stage.”

Sapphire Energy partnered with AMEC Project Engineering, who coordinated with 16 New Mexico based contractors, to complete the first phase of the Green Crude Farm during 12 months of active construction. As of today, Phase One of the project has reached the following milestones:

  • Construction: Completed on time and on budget
  • Unit Operations: Conducting all united operations, including cultivation, harvest and extraction in a continuous process
  • Cultivation: Biomass productivity exceeding the company’s goals
  • Harvest: Successfully harvested 81 tons of biomass

In building the Green Crude Farm:

  • 634 full-time equivalent employees were hired throughout the entire construction phase
  • $16 million was directly invested with local New Mexico contractors

Sapphire will continue to conduct “shakedown” testing, as well as operate and expand farming operations over the winter, as the facility is commissioned into 2013. By the end of 2014, the company projects that the Green Crude Farm will produce 100 barrels of Green Crude per day. The commercial demonstration project is expected to prove “commercial” techno-economics, and Sapphire’s commercial scale Green Crude facility.

More Buzz…

HOME Algae Industry Jobs

Copyright ©2010-2012 AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com. All rights reserved. Permission granted to reprint this article in its entirety. Must include copyright statement and live hyperlinks. Contact editorial@algaeindustrymagazine.com. A.I.M. accepts unsolicited manuscripts for consideration, and takes no responsibility for the validity of claims made in submitted editorial.

From The A.I.M. Archives

— Refresh Page for More Choices
AIMPLAS, a Center for Innovation and Technology in Valencia, Spain, and Biofuel Systems, a wholly Spanish-owned firm that has developed a method of breeding plankton and ...
Alltech, the animal feed giant headquartered in Lexington, Kentucky, is continuing to expand its 15,000 ton/yr. algal DHA plant in Winchester, KY, one of only two plants ...
In the 1970s, following the regrouping of small farms into large production centers, the Soviet Union was experiencing serious problems with epidemics of cancer and low p...
Natural Algae Astaxanthin manufacturers Fuji Chemical Industry Co Ltd., Algatechnologies Ltd. and Cyanotech Corporation have announced that they will form the “Natural Al...
OriginOil Inc. has announced a collaboration with Israel’s AquaGreen Fish Farms, Ltd. to further streamline their zero-discharge aquaculture systems for the production of...
Solazyme has announced that commercial operations have begun at both Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM)’s Clinton, Iowa facility, and the downstream companion facility ...
Heliae, SCHOTT North America and Arizona State University (ASU) have announced a partnership to bring Heliae’s algae production technology to ASU’s algae testbed facility...
Natural carotenoid specialists Piveg Inc., with production facilities based in Celaya, Central Mexico, has announced immediate availability of natural astaxanthin materia...
University of Adelaide researchers are using nanotechnology and the fossils of diatoms to develop a novel chemical-free and resistance-free way of protecting stored grain...
Scientists at the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have demonstrated that just two of six iron-sulfur-containing ferredoxins in a represent...
The University of Greenwich is leading a €10m international project, called the ‘D-Factory,’ to build a biorefinery to develop the microalga Dunaliella as a sustainable r...
Biomass abounds on Earth, as forests, fields, sewage and seaweed. But only a small fraction, mostly human or agricultural waste, can be harvested without posing environme...
Algae.Tec Ltd has received its first purchase order from Reliance Industrial Investments and Holdings Limited (RIIHL), in connection with the arrangements announced on Ja...
Solazyme, Inc. has announced results for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2013. “2013 was a year of great progress for Solazyme as we readied our first...
Valensa International and Contract Biotics have announced that Contract Biotics has started construction of an additional six acres of algae production units at the compa...
Technical standards define critical terms and metrics to add wisdom for the algae industry. Agreement among science and business leaders represents possibly the most diff...
One of 12 winners of the 2014 Lexus Design Award, the Ooho algae balloon was created by three London-based designers to contribute a solution to the rising number of plas...
Algae is being discussed at the heart of EXPO Milano 2015, the international event that has existed since 1851, spawning world shaping themes and icons, such as the Eiffe...
Libourne, France-based Fermentalg, an industrial biotechnology company that specializes in the production of oils and proteins derived from microalgae, has completed a su...
As the number of photobioreactors in an algae growing operation increases, there is a need for both autonomous control and monitoring of individual PBRs, as well as centr...
Students from three Arizona universities will demonstrate their algae research projects at an Innovation Showcase May 1, in Arizona State University’s Sun Devil Fitness C...