OriginOil signs agreement with U.S. DOE

By Bryan Sims | February 10, 2009
Web exclusive posted Feb. 17, 2009, at 2:36 p.m. CST

Los Angeles-based OriginOil Inc. has signed a cooperative agreement with the U.S. DOE's Idaho National Laboratory in an effort to help validate and commercialize OriginOil's algae-to-oil technology into the mainstream market.

The multi-phase research program will focus on commercial scaling of OriginOil's technology in the production of algae-based fuels by utilizing state-of-the-art equipment, capabilities, scientists and engineers of the Idaho National Laboratory. The initial phase will focus on the collaborative development of an energy balance model for photobioreactor-based algae systems. The company expects to use this model in the optimization of its algae-to-oil technology as early as the first quarter of this year. Subsequent phases will center on validation of OriginOil's processes and piloting specific commercial applications.

"Our primary challenge is cost-effective and scalable industrial processes and our partnership with OriginOil will help us find solutions to this challenge in the promising area of algae-to-oil technology," said Thomas Ulrich, advisory scientist for Idaho National Laboratory's Biofuels and Renewable Energy Department.

In operation since 1949, Idaho National Laboratory is a science-based, applied engineering national laboratory dedicated to supporting the DOE's energy research and national defense efforts. "Partnerships with innovators like OriginOil will accelerate our pursuit of national energy independence initiatives," Ulrich said.

In December 2008, Biodiesel Magazine reported that OriginOil successfully automated its algae cultivation and oil extraction system, allowing it to grow algae to extract the oil for biodiesel production. (Read "Origin automates algae system.")
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