OriginOil launches commercial algae harvesting system
Posted: 16 November 2011
OriginOil has launched the Algae Appliance, a commercial entry-level algae harvesting system that will help producers process algae at very low cost and without chemicals.
"This Algae Appliance should be very beneficial to producers and researchers who are developing the most efficient processes for growing algae at commercial scale," said Larry Sirmans, Technical Director of OriginOil's key Australian partner MBD Energy.
Slated for commercial release in the first half of 2012, the Algae Appliance provides a low energy, chemical-free, continuous flow 'wet harvest' system, with the potential to remove up to 90 percent of the initial water volume. Field testing will begin soon with select partners who have current or near-term large volumes of algae for harvesting.
"We are continuing to scale up our technology at MBD's pilot site in Australia," said Bill Charneski, OriginOil senior director of product engineering.
"Now, everything we have learned is going into a standardized entry-level system to help the worldwide algae industry meet the high demand for sustainable, low-cost algae production."
The new system is modular and incorporates low-energy, chemical-free concentration. Optionally, the system can also 'crack' the microscopic algae cells for downstream processing needs.
Energy requirements are extremely low, at about 0.002 kWh to process 10 liters per minute, the Algae Appliance's middle range of performance.
"Our Algae Appliance can process as little as two liters per minute, which is perfect for a small research installation," said Ken Reynolds, OriginOil's vice president of marketing.
"But it is versatile enough to handle up to ten times that rate, serving capacities of 100,000 liters and more. And of course we'll make it easy for our customers to upgrade all the way to production scale."
"With algae-based fuels now being used in commercial aviation and in the military, there is tremendous pressure on our industry to deliver much lower-cost, high-volume algae products," said Riggs Eckelberry, OriginOil CEO.
"The Algae Appliance is expected to answer this demand, and drive the eventual licensing and distribution of our technology worldwide."