Dec 29, 2011
The prospect of deriving substantial amounts of oil from algae is intriguing, but many observers feel it won’t succeed until standards for the products are developed. In light of that, OriginOil Inc. -- the developer of a technology to extract oil from algae -- has announced the funding of a new research agreement with the Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory (INL). Under the agreement, OriginOil and INL will collaborate with a goal of establishing industry standards for algal biomass, a critical step toward making algal biofuel a competitive alternative to petroleum.
Under the terms of the agreement, OriginOil will provide INL with its Single-Step Extraction technology, and it will contribute its knowledge of how to stimulate oil production and pretreat for consistent extraction of the algae and its co-products. OriginOil expects to benefit from INL’s scientific and engineering expertise and its large Process Demonstration Facility, which boasts advanced biofuel-processing capabilities and equipment, including biochemical, thermochemical and other downstream conversion technologies. A primary effort will be to integrate algae with terrestrial biomass sources to achieve large-scale biofuel production.
“OriginOil’s focus on developing standards for the industry in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy will set the stage for a multisource system that depends heavily on algae, leading to its rapid expansion as a major fuel source alongside petroleum oil and natural gas,” says Paul Reep, OriginOil’s senior vice president of technology and formerly a manager at the Idaho National Laboratory.
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