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.