CO2 giant partners with Sapphire to develop open pond system
What happens when an industry leader that employs roughly 48,000 people and earned nearly $18 billion in the gases and engineering sector in 2010 partners with a young, innovative algae company? We’re about to find out. Sapphire Energy has signed with the Linde Group in an effort to collaborate on a commercial-scale system that could deliver CO2 to open-pond algae systems like those currently being used by Sapphire.
Linde is currently the leading supplier of CO2 in the U.S., providing CO2 for processes like dry-cleaning to cooling food products. The goal of the project is cut the costs of delivering anthropogenic CO2 to the open ponds, and before the multiyear agreement is able to develop a commercial-scale system, Linde will provide CO2 at Sapphire’s Columbus, N.M., demonstration facility.
In the Netherlands, Linde has already created a CO2 delivery system that supplies 550 greenhouses with CO2 through a 100 kilometer pipeline from a nearby refinery. “Producing fuel by algae using CO2 from large emitters like power stations and chemical plants is a very promising way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said Aldo Belloni, a member of the executive board of Linde AG.
According to Linde, a single commercial algae-fuel facility will require roughly 10,000 metric tons of CO2 per day. With the need for fuel dependency becoming clearer, according to Cynthia Warner, president of Sapphire Energy, “we need great partners who can supply sufficient and low-cost access to CO2.” Linde, Warner believes, has a great understanding of efficiently managing the distribution process of CO2, adding that with this collaboration, Sapphire is moving “closer to delivering a domestically produced, cost-efficient source of algae-based green crude.”
The partnership between Sapphire Energy with a billion dollar company isn’t the first for the algae developer. In March, Sapphire also partnered with Monsanto to develop algal genes that might apply to Monsanto’s work in agriculture.