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Watson-Marlow’s Bredel Hose Pump Used in Production of Alternative Fuel

Bredel, a Watson-Marlow brand, provides heavy duty hose pumps for its customers around the world. The company’s Bredel 2100 pump is helping Sapphire Energy, a green crude production company based in San Diego, effectively transfer shear-sensitive algae for alternative fuel.

In 2012, funded by $100 million of government funding, Sapphire opened its state-of-the-art Green Crude farm in Columbus, New Mexico. The company’s innovative fuel production process is a potential game-changer for the American energy and petrochemical industries. Its fuel production process relies on shear-sensitive equipment that is able to transfer sensitive algae between various sizes or growth/grow-out pods.

The Bredel 2100 hose pump meets all requirements of this unique applications, offering variable flow capabilities regardless of pressure, a bespoke portable design, and durability in harsh operating conditions. The pump will be operating in a dry desert area with temperature highs of 115 Fahrenheit in the summer and winds exceeding 50 mph. With 100% positive flow rates up to 108,000 liters per hour, the Bredel 2100 features twin 100mm pump heads with common suction and discharge manifolds mounted to a single gearbox and motor.

Watson-Marlow engineers custom-designed the pump to be mounted on a trailer bed, allowing it to move from pond to pond. With the installation of the Bredel hose pump, Sapphire has transformed from pilot plant to true farm pond commercial production.

There are many other benefits the Bredel 2100 series offers, including discharge pressure up to 16 bar and suction pressure 8.5 metre lift to 2 bar. Additionally, the pumped fluid never comes into contact with mechanical parts or seals. The hose is the only wearing part of the pump, and can be quickly replaced for minimal downtime and easy, inexpensive maintenance.

Sapphire Energy is supported by a team of leading US researchers, scientists and blue-ribbon investors, including Cascade Investment, owned by Bill Gates. The company has already successfully produced fungible, drop-in transportation fuels from algae, sunlight and CO2, including 91 octane gasoline, 89 cetane diesel, and jet fuel.

Green Crude produced by Sapphire is different than other forms of biofuel currently available because it is comprised solely of photosynthetic micro-organisms (algae and cyano-bacteria), using sunlight and CO2 as its feedstock. This means it is not dependent on food crops or farmland, does not use potable water and does not result in bio-diesel or ethanol. Additionally, Green Crude enhances and replaces petroleum-based products, is compatible with existing infrastructure and is low carbon, renewable and scalable.

Source: Watson-Marlow