Australia Coal-fired Plant to Test OriginOil Algae Oil Extraction System

MBD Energy, owner of three CO2-to-energy projects, will pilot the extraction unit.

OriginOil, Inc., the developer of a technology to transform algae, has received a commercial order from MBD Energy to deploy its algae oil extraction system in an industrial setting.

MBD recently committed to purchase an initial OriginOil extraction unit for piloting at one of Australia's three largest coal-fired power plants.

"OriginOil's algae harvesting equipment performed extremely well during preconstruction tests at MBD's R&D facility at James Cook University," said Andrew Lawson, managing director of MBD Energy, Ltd. "We have every confidence that OriginOil's algae oil extraction technology will meet our high expectations for the next stage," he added.

MBD expects the technology to support a pilot Bio-CCS (Bio-based Carbon Capture and Storage) algal synthesizer system at Queensland's Tarong Power Station.

The proof-of-concept phase on a one-hectare site, scheduled for later this year, will use concentrated carbon dioxide emissions to produce oil-rich algae in MBD's proprietary growth membranes. The extraction technology will be used to harvest the algae oil and biomass.

"This first extraction system will support early testing at the Tarong site," said Riggs Eckelberry, CEO of OriginOil. "A much larger unit is intended to replace it later this year to process up to 300 gallons per minute (gpm) of algae culture for the one-hectare pilot site, at which point the first unit will be deployed at the next power station pilot site, and so on."

"Together, the recently-committed initial unit and the full system for the Tarong proof-of-concept site, if approved, may generate as much as US$1 million in product and service sales for OriginOil," Eckelberry added.

MBD estimated that, subject to performance at the 80-hectare level and mutual agreements, each Stage 3 full-scale production facility has the potential to grow to 1,600 hectares (3,900 acres) and could produce around 300 million liters (over 79 million gallons) of transport (or plastics) oil per year, as well as other valuable commodities, and consume, at full scale, more than half of each power station's carbon dioxide emissions.