Algae News Wrap Up: $144M capital raising for Sapphire, Algae.Tec in top 3 globally, and FedEx looks to algae biofuels

Venture Beat reports that Sapphire Energy, a company that creates algae-based fuel, just announced $144 million in funding. “In recent years several startups have emerged to create fuel out of plant material, all hoping to lure people away from gasoline made from crude oil. SolazymeAlgae.tec, and Sapphire Energy all dominate the space, trying to edge out not only each other but oil companies as well.” CNN Money also reported on the story revealing that the “new capital will go towards building out a commercial algae energy demonstration plant — the Green Crude Farm — in Luna County, New Mexico.”

NPR interviews FedEx CEO Fred Smith on rising fuel costs and the importance of renewable fuels. Smith says “biofuel, probably produced with algae, will replace much petroleum-based jet fuel.”

A FedEx hybrid delivery truck. In FedEx's fleet of over 90,000 vehicles, 408 are hybrid or electric, and 4,000 are fuel-efficient, lower-emitting "Sprinter" vans. (credit NPR)

Green Air Online reports that according to Finnair’s (Finland’s largest airline) VP Sustainable Development, Kati Ihamäki, biofuels are the fastest route to meaningful long-term reductions in aviation greenhouse gas emissions but the major hurdle remained “price, price and price” when he presented at the World Biofuels Markets 2012 aviation stream conference in Rotterdam. He added that “It is clear the biofuel industry is engaged and eager to prove the reliability of their technologies,” he said.

Biofuels Digest reports on the politics, policy and principals for algae biofuels. Mary Rosenthal, Executive Director, Algal Biomass Organization highlights the importance of getting policy right, “we all have to live with politics, but we have to live by policy. Bad policy, once set, can take years or decades to undo.” She also outlined the ABO’s principals as “domestic energy and national security, economic development and jobs, nutritional health” and added that they “are important to Americans regardless of party affiliation.”