Algae Energy | May 07, 2009 |
OriginOil Cracks Algae Extraction Costs
OriginOil’s (OTCBB: OOIL) process, called Quantum Fracturing, uses electromagnetism and pH modification to break the algae’s cell walls, extracting oil from the algae in one step. Once the cells walls are broken down, the oil and biomass separate by gravity, without need for chemicals or heavy machinery, the company says.
OriginOil is a “pure technology company,” CEO Riggs Eckelberry says, with plans to market its developments to “help other companies make more algae oil.” The company, which also develops algae lighting and growth systems, plans to develop a scale pilot project by the end of 2009, and hopes to move into the product phase by 2010, he adds.
In May 2009, OriginOil announced its partnership with international oil extraction technology developer Desmet Ballestra. The two companies plan to explore how OriginOil’s technology may be used to increase the efficiency of Desmet Ballestra’s algae extraction methods, Eckelberry says.
The company, which was founded in mid-2007 and went public in April 2008, in early 2009 announced a partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory, through which the two plan to research algae scalability issues. The lab will also help validate the company’s technology.
The passage of the stimulus bill has created a changing biofuels landscape, Eckelberry says. In May, the DOE announced it is dedicating almost $800 million to biofuels development and commercialization, including $50 million for algal biofuel research.
Reprinted with permission from Sustainable Industries.