October 4, 2009

HOW ARE YOU EVER GONNA PEAK WHEN YOU CAN BURN POND SCUM?:

HOW I MADE IT: JASON PYLE: Using algae to make fuels, he's thinking beyond pond scum: Sapphire Energy CEO Jason Pyle, who has had a hand in start-ups in medical engineering and biotechnology, now is developing algae-based fuels that have already propelled planes and a car. (Tiffany Hsu, October 4, 2009, LA Times)

The gig: Chief executive of Sapphire Energy Inc., a San Diego biofuels company that develops algae-based fuel that has been used experimentally to power airplanes and, recently, a car that was driven across the country. The serial entrepreneur has had a hand in starting several companies in industries including medical engineering and biotechnology.

Sapphire hopes to produce 1 million gallons of algae diesel and jet fuel each year in the next two years, and up to a massive 1 billion gallons of fuel a year by 2025.

A company born of conflict: Sapphire Energy grew out of a dinner argument in 2006, where Pyle contended that biofuels, especially corn ethanol, were a flawed fad that could never be developed on a commercial scale. But ever the problem solver, he, along with partners Kristina Burow and Nathaniel David, began looking into alternative fuel sources.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 4, 2009 8:13 AM
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