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Converting Algae To Energy

Autotrophic, if not automatic, for the people.

Phillips 66 hopes it can usher in a new generation of fuels by working with Sapphire Energy Inc. to convert algae into "green" crude oil, the Houston-based refining and research giant announced Tuesday. The work may take several years to complete.

The agreement between Phillips 66 and Sapphire is designed to take production of algae crude a big step in the direction of commercial use. Phillips 66's research center in Bartlesville will be involved in the work toward developing commercial-scale green crude oil.

"Yes, the Sustainable Technology group in Bartlesville will be working with Sapphire Energy to advance some commercialization of algae crude," Phillips 66 spokesman Dean Acosta replied in an email. "Sapphire Energy is already testing algal crude's readiness for refining in small quantities. Phillips 66's focus will be on whether that process can be scaled up and whether the products produced can meet EPA requirements."

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