OriginOil Announces Algae Processing Breakthrough


Today, Los Angeles based OriginOil announced what they’re calling a breakthrough in algae processing, leading to a simpler and more efficient mechanism for producing algae-based biofuels.

Harvesting algae is inherently difficult. Once grown, algae must be concentrated and then broken apart to exract the oil from each cell, which leaves a mix of oil, water, and biomass. The process to extract the oil, shown in a time-lapse video on OriginOil’s website, purportedly achieves all of the key harvesting steps in a single pass.

With this new process, we have greatly improved on our previous harvesting technology. We now have a single device and process that we will optimize and scale up in upcoming trials for commercialization

-OriginOil CTO Dr. Vikram Pattarkine

OriginOil’s process uses their proprietary “Quantum Fracturing™” (depicted above) in combination with electromagnetism and changes in pH to break down cell walls and separate the oil (more on their website). The technology will debut at the National Algae Association’s Forum on April 30, 2009.

See the press release at OriginOil’s website.



In a past life, Clayton was a professional blogger and editor of Gas 2.0, Important Media’s blog covering the future of sustainable transportation. He was also the Managing Editor for GO Media, the predecessor to Important Media.