Sapphire Energy says it has successfully turned algae into biofuel, raising hopes that a viable oil alternative could be produced without need for agricultural land. The indeed-sapphire-colored fuel produced by the year-old company is coaxed from algae, sunlight, non-potable salt water, and carbon dioxide. Sapphire says its fuel is equivalent to conventional crude in both chemical makeup and price, and could be processed in existing refineries and used to power existing cars. And though vehicles burning the fuel will still produce tailpipe emissions, the company says the CO2 pulled from the atmosphere for production will effectively make the whole shebang carbon neutral. Sapphire hopes to have its fuel commercially available within five years. “We’ve talked to people in the oil industry who’ve said, ‘This is the first thing I’ve seen that can change the game,'” says Robert Nelsen of ARCH Venture Partners, which backs Sapphire. “We want to take it to a whole new level.”