Gates invests in algae

Cascade Investment LLC, an investment holding company owned by Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, has put money into San Diego-based "renewable petrochemical" products company Sapphire Energy. On Sept. 17, Sapphire announced the completion of its second round of funding, which resulted in the acquisition of more than $100 million. The money will help to commercialize its algae oil production technology. The company recently established a test and research site in New Mexico, and aims to reach commercial-scale production within three to five years.