San Diego-based Sapphire Energy said it entered into an agreement with German industrial gas provider Linde Group to develop a low-cost system for delivering carbon dioxide to large, open-pond, algae to fuel cultivation systems.

Sapphire has developed technology that converts algae to fuel that would be a substitute for fossil-based crude oil.

The partners didn’t reveal any details about the monetary investment.

Linde will supply Sapphire all its CO2 needs for a demonstration project in Columbus, N.M. A commercial algae fuel production facility is estimated to require about 10,000 metric tons of CO2 daily, or about 30 percent of the current merchant market for CO2 in the United States, the partners said.

Sapphire said its “green crude” generates 70 percent less carbon emissions than petroleum based equivalents.

— Mike Allen