OriginOil, Inc. has notified Australia-based MBD Energy Limited that it is ready to ship a Single-Step Extraction System, the second product to be delivered in its multi-phase commercialization agreement. The notification triggers a new series of payments under a purchase order from the Australia-based customer.
We believe OriginOil’s concentration and extraction technology holds promise of reducing costs and energy requirements in the algae harvesting process. We look forward to now using the equipment we’ve purchased from OriginOil to finalize preparations for our 1 hectare Bio CCS algal synthesizer test facility we’re about to construct at Tarong Power Station in Queensland. If performance tests go to plan we expect to later expand the 1 hectare synthesizer to 80 hectares at which point we hope to produce approximately 10,000 tonnes of oil per year.—Andrew Lawson, Managing Director at MBD Energy Ltd.
Conventional algae oil extraction systems use petrochemical or alcohol solvents to extract algae oil. In this process, the largest amount of energy consumption comes from the initial steps of dewatering and drying the algal biomass. The novel OriginOil Single-Step Extraction technology, however, allows the oil to be separated from the algal biomass in water with no dewatering or drying steps. As a result, substantial electrical and thermal energy can be saved.
The OriginOil Single-Step Extraction technology also requires significantly less capital expenditure per tonne of oil extracted, according to the company. Conventional oil extraction systems utilizing petrochemical and alcohol solvents are rather complex and need to be large-scaled to keep the capital cost per tonne of oil within reason. In contrast, the OriginOil Single-Step Extraction technology does not require a petrochemical solvent, such as hexane, which is known to require an extensive permitting process before implementation, thus allowing for a more cost-effective production of algal oil.
OriginOil’s unit is the second product to be shipped in the test phase of a multi-phase commercialization program under which OriginOil has agreed to supply MBD Energy with progressively larger installations of its algae-to-oil technology as the scale of MBD’s algal synthesizer projects grows.
The two products are supplied under a one-year lease-to-own program.
Subject to achieving success in the initial test phase, MBD will purchase significantly larger systems to serve its power station projects in Australia, beginning with the 1 hectare algal synthesizer test plant at Tarong Power Station in South Eastern Queensland, and potentially expanding to full production at all three of MBD’s power station project sites in Australia.
According to MBD Energy, each of its power station projects has the potential to grow to 80 hectare commercial pilot plants, each capable of producing 11 million liters (2.9 million gallons US) of oil for plastics and transport fuel, and 25,000 tonnes of drought-proof animal feed annually.
MBD Energy estimates that, subject to approvals and performance results, the projects could eventually grow to about 1,500 hectares with potential to consume more than half of each power station’s flue-gas emissions.