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Sapphire Energy, Linde Unveil CO2 Algae-to-Fuel Deal

German industrial gas giant will deliver carbon dioxide.

San Diego-based Sapphire Energy and German industrial gas giant Linde unveiled Wednesday a cooperation project in the production of algae-to-fuel systems.

Linde has undertaken to deliver carbon dioxide "to commercial-scale, open-pond, algae-to-fuel cultivation systems" operated by Sapphire Energy, a statement said.

The German group will also provide CO2 for a commercial demonstration site run by Sapphire Energy in New Mexico, it added.

Sapphire Energy has developed a system that produces "a renewable and low carbon substitute for fossile-based crude oil" from algae, the statement said.

Sapphire Energy President Cynthia Warner was quoted as saying that "to produce algal oil, or 'green crude' at the scale to meet growing demand, we need great partners who can supply sufficient and low-cost access to CO2."

Linde executive board member Aldo Belloni stressed, meanwhile, that "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."

Facilities that make commercial algae fuel need an estimated 10,000 tonnes of CO2 per day, roughly 30% of the current merchant market for CO2 in the United States, the statement said.

Linde has begun to focus on renewable energies and CO2 recycling to fuel growth in the future.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011

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