Over the past two months OriginOil, Inc. (OTC/BB: OOIL) has strengthened its relationship with U.S. federal government in multiple ways. The most recent of which is an announcement of a new partnership with the Department of Energy, which will see the company work together with the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) to develop an integrated system capable of directly converting raw algae into renewable crude oil.
The goal of the project is to have a technology which can enable algal crude oil to be produced at commercial levels and used at existing oil refineries. The partners have named the developing technology the Biocrude System.
The Biocrude System will combine OriginOil's algae harvesting system with state-of-the-art biomass processing technology that is being developed by OriginOil and INL under a different research agreement.
Riggs Eckelberry, OriginOil CEO, says by helping algae growers not only harvest large amounts of oil but also enabling them to make a crude oil replacement right on site will move algal fuel from a small, niche market into a large-scale commercial operation: "That's an instant upgrade from what is now a niche market, to the immediate 86 million barrel per day global crude oil market."
Dr. Deborah Newby, Project Manager at DOE's Idaho National Laboratory said this project has the potential to support the U.S. Department of Defense's strategic fuels diversification program in a serious way. The U.S. military is currently exploring multiple technologies which might be able to ease its massive oil demand, much of which comes from foreign sources such as the Middle East or Canada.
In December, OriginOil formed a joint venture to develop biorefineries serving the U.S. and NATO military requirements for alternative fuels.
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