Algae-based fuels a growing business in New Mexico

Sapphire Energy Inc., which uses a proprietary process to turn algae oil into renewable gasoline to replace fossil fuels at the pump, broke ground last June on a 300-acre commercial demonstration facility in Columbus.

In Hobbs, in the heart of southeast New Mexico’s oil patch, Massachusetts-based Joule Unlimited Inc. broke ground this fall on a five-acre site that will use concentrating-solar biorefineries to extract ethanol and diesel from bacteria in salt-water mixed with carbon dioxide.

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