Origin Oil is an oil producing company with a difference. It is trying to develop a system that can transform algae to a commercially workable substitute for petroleum. However the company is still in its initial stages and the patent required for the new algae derived oil is still pending.
Origin Oil believes that a new age bio-fuel feedstock can be created to manufacture petrol, diesel, jet fuel, plastics and other solvents. A large quantity of the world's oil and gas reserves are made up of algae deposits of ancient age. The micro algae can grow fast and naturally create oil as part of their organic processes. A micro alga can have up to 60% of its weight in oil. The main theory is that when micro algae are grown in controlled environment it ensures their sustenance and then the algae are cracked so that the oil can be extracted. The extraction process produces a by product in form of biomass that can be used further.
The micro algae are also considered as a means to tackle the eminent greenhouse problem as the algae survives on carbon dioxide and emits oxygen. As a result, when the oil is used, it is in a way returning the carbon dioxide back to the atmosphere, not adding to it.
The algae have to be cultivated in a calm environment that is well lit and watered. In addition the cell wall of the algae is tough and considerable amount of energy is spent on cracking it. Therefore, to extract the oil without wasting a lot of energy is a real challenge before Origin Oil.
Origin Oil warns that the new bio fuel may not achieve technical or profitable viability in near future. However, well known alternative energy sources like solar power and hydrogen need time to be phased into the current lifestyles because they require infrastructure to support the move from oil to alternative means. The oil prices themselves are at record highs and the usual bio fuel production is straining the world’s food supply. So many experts concur that micro-algae as an alternative fuel are the way to go as it solves the oil problem.
The company does not plan to manufacture the algae feedstock or the oil. Instead it will give out technology modules so that everyone could use micro algae to create low cost oil. The company claims to have made breakthroughs in the growth and extraction. Their module just needs water; the rest runs on solar energy. They intend to sell their module all over the world to make large scale production.
Origin Oil went public recently. About 32.0 million of its shares are up for grabs. The shares are sold over the counter as the share price is lower than the minimum amount required by the stock exchanges. It shares are already experiencing good days at the market.