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San Diego Company Says It's Making Fuel From Algae

A San Diego company says it is turning algae into oil, creating a clean fuel that can be used in unmodified cars and trucks.

A San Diego company says it is turning algae into oil, creating a clean fuel that can be used in unmodified cars and trucks.

Sapphire Energy announced Wednesday that it is using algae, sunlight, non-potable water and carbon dioxide to make a "green crude" that it says is the chemical equivalent of sweet crude oil.

Chief executive Jason Pyle says the production costs per barrel will be similar to petroleum-based fuel.

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But he says Sapphire's product will produce fewer pollutants and reduce reliance on oil, and it would not require using crops like most of today's biofuels.

The private, year-old company, expects to reach full commercial-scale fuel production in five years.

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