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OriginOil Claims Cost-Cutting Breakthrough in Getting Oil from Algae

By Editors on April 24, 2009 2:57 PM
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A Los Angeles-based company has announced a new single-step process that significantly reduces both the time and energy required to extract oil from algae. The procedure, which OriginOil's CEO Riggs Eckelberry calls Quantum Fracturing, eliminates the chemicals and high-priced hardware currently needed to break down the walls of the individual algae cells. Instead, it relies on a combination of electric charge and modifying the relative pH values of the processing medium to get the job done. With this patented Quantum Fracturing system, the resulting oil simply rises to the surface of the extraction vessel where it can be readily skimmed off while the remaining biomass drops to the bottom of the tank to be collected and readied for additional reprocessing into fuel or other organic by-products. Beyond integrating the Quantum Fracturing process into its own extraction operations, OriginOil is currently gearing up to commercially license it to other firms in the rapidly expanding algae-to-oil industry. More details are expected next week when Eckelberry will address members of the National Algae Association Forum in Houston, Texas.

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