OriginOil, Inc., the developer of a breakthrough technology to extract oil from algae and an emerging leader in the global algae oil services industry, recently announced the funding of a new research agreement with the Department of Energy's Idaho National Laboratory (INL). Under the agreement, OriginOil and INL will collaborate with a goal toward establishing industry standards for algal biomass, a critical step toward making algal biofuels a competitive alternative to petroleum.
Under the terms of the new Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA), OriginOil will provide INL with its Single Step Extraction(TM) technology, and contribute its knowledge of how to stimulate oil production and pre-treat for consistent extraction of the algae and its co-products.
OriginOil expects to benefit from INL's scientific and engineering expertise and its large Process Demonstration Facility which boasts advanced biofuels processing capabilities and equipment, including biochemical, thermochemical and other downstream conversion technologies. A primary effort will be to integrate algae with terrestrial biomass sources to achieve large-scale biofuels production.
"The US Navy alone plans to achieve 50% use of alternative fuels in just eight years, a goal of eight million barrels of biofuels per year that must be blended from non-food fuels like algae," said Riggs Eckelberry, OriginOil's CEO. "But to blend, we must standardize, using the latest breakthrough technologies. We are proud to contribute to this effort and will share what we learn with our approved partners worldwide."
Deborah T. Newby, Molecular Biologist at INL's Biofuels and Renewable Energy Department, commented, "INL develops tests and deploys advanced renewable energy technology, including research on algae. This agreement is to assist OriginOil by conducting evaluations of processes and technologies that may help find solutions to converting algae into energy feedstocks more efficiently, by optimizing and standardizing various formats. This research may accelerate the pursuit of national energy independence initiatives."
Paul Reep, OriginOil's senior vice president of technology and formerly a manager at the Idaho National Laboratory, was responsible for bringing the parties together. Mr. Reep stated, "OriginOil's focus on developing standards for the industry in partnership with the US Department of Energy will set the stage for a multi-source system that depends heavily on algae, leading to its rapid expansion as a major fuel source alongside petroleum oil and natural gas."
In operation since 1949, the Idaho National Laboratory is a science-based, applied engineering national laboratory dedicated to supporting the DOE on energy research and national defense. Its mission is to ensure the nation's energy security with safe, clean, competitive, and sustainable energy systems and unique national and homeland security capabilities.
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