Sapphire Energy's algae-based crude oil is still a long way from entering the marketplace, but it appears to be among the furthest along, writes Herman Wang. Sapphire is producing demonstration-scale amounts of what it calls the "first renewable crude oil in the history of the world" and aims to achieve commercial-scale output by 2018, Wang states. Tim Zenk, Sapphire's vice president of corporate affairs, credits the Renewable Fuel Standard for promoting advanced-biofuel development.

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