Senior scientist applauds collaboration leading to first-ever presentation of productivity model
Los Angeles, CA October 7, 2009 – OriginOil, Inc. (OOIL), the developer of a breakthrough technology to transform algae, the most promising source of renewable oil, into a true competitor to petroleum, today announced the completion of Phase 1 of a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory (INL).
OriginOil has been working with INL to develop a process model for the commercial production of algae for biofuels and other value-added products. Phase 1 of the CRADA focused on developing a comprehensive mass-energy balance of OriginOil’s proprietary process. This helped the company develop its comprehensive productivity model recently presented to the National Algae Association’s Quarterly Forum in Houston, Texas. INL researchers provided core data on the projected efficiency and recovery values for the various steps involved in the algae-growing process, including lipid and biomass production from algae.
“Algae represent a potential key biomass resource for a sustainable bioenergy industry,” said Tom Ulrich, INL Senior Advisory Scientist. “Collaboration with OriginOil has been encouraging, especially the modeling of their algae growth and production process. Phase 2 of the CRADA will focus on further process validation, economic modeling and improved biomass logistics for the scale up of algae biomass production.”
CEO Eckelberry added: “We look forward to continuing our relationship with INL and incorporating their research into our technology development and performance modeling. Through this collaboration we will facilitate the growth of the entire algae sector, and create a domestic renewable fuel industry that will benefit both the environment and the economy.”
INL and OriginOil are currently negotiating the scope and terms of Phase 2 and 3 of the CRADA. The deliverables for additional phases will include biological and chemical feedstock evaluation needed for systems integration design and scale-up demonstration. This work will identify and incorporate minor feeds (such as trace nutrients for algae), recycle streams, intermediate storage, utilities needed, and waste streams. Equipment sizes and the appropriate number of parallel units will also be determined, resulting in a more robust economic analysis of industrial scale systems.
The company reported the results of Phase 1 as part of the first-ever productivity model for algae production. The model was well received by industry leaders because of its comprehensive data set, transparent assumptions, and clarity on the commercialization challenge. OriginOil plans to publish specialized calculators on the company’s website, and will make the detailed model available to researchers.
“The new algae industry needed a comprehensive economic model to ramp up quickly,” said OriginOil CEO Riggs Eckelberry. “INL has played an integral part in our efforts to quantify the performance of key steps within the OriginOil algae production system.”
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