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HOUSTON -- Could another alternative fuel be available in the future? Phillips 66 intends to find out.
The oil company is teaming up with Sapphire Energy to determine if algae-based crude oil is ready for a conventional refinery. As the name suggests, algae crude is developed from algae.
"You have to remember that much of the existing traditional crude came from algae and plant matter that grew millions of years ago," said Jay Clements, Phillips 66's business development manager. "Our modern algae crude just celebrates Mother Nature's process."
Phillips 66 researchers in Bartlesville, Okla., will collect and analyze data intended to determine if algae crude can be processed in a conventional petroleum refinery and still produce products that meet Environmental Protection Agency requirements under the Clean Air Act.
"What's exciting is that we could successfully demonstrate the entire, sustainable value chain for the algae-to-fungible fuel process for the first time on a commercial scale," said Bud Prevatt, principal scientist for Phillips 66 Sustainability Technologies.
According to San Diego-based Sapphire Energy, its algae crude does not compete with food crops, take up valuable farmland or use potable water.
"We're looking forward to building a strong relationship with Phillips 66, an established leader in research and development for next-generation fuels," said Cynthia "CJ" Warner, chairman and CEO of Sapphire Energy.
Houston-based Phillips 66 is owner of the Phillips 66, 76 and Conoco brands.