Bill Gates Funds Sapphire Energy

By: Marissa Brassfield - Published: • References: sapphireenergy and news.cnet
Bill Gates, one of the richest men in the world, has thrown his proverbial hat into the alternative energy ring. His investment firm, Cascade Investment, has funded Sapphire Energy, a San Diego-based company that plans to make auto fuel from algae.

This brings Sapphire Energy's total investment capital over the $100 million mark, with other investors that include Arch Venture Partners, Wellcome Trust, and Venrock.

Algae is thought to be a good and inexpensive source of renewable fuel since it is naturally rich from oil and can grow in a variety of conditions.

Sapphire Energy said in 2007 that they successfully made an algae product that yielded 91 octane gasoline; they've named it Green Crude. Sapphire Energy's process can yield the chemical equivalents of gasoline, jet fuel and diesel fuel.