New technology increases algae yield for renewable energy source
OriginOil, Inc., the developer of breakthrough technology to transform algae, the most promising source of renewable oil, into a true competitor to petroleum, today announced Algae Screen, a process that keeps algae healthy and productive by selectively eliminating microscopic predators without the use of chemicals. The technology employs an electromagnetic pulse, similar to what is used to achieve Live Extraction(TM). OriginOil will offer Algae Screen and Live Extraction in one integrated offering for growers.
"Much of our technology is based on the same underlying science, so it makes sense to create ' functionality hubs' to simplify field operations and create more value for producers," said OriginOil' s CEO, Riggs Eckelberry. "We see much more integration activity as the algae industry matures."
The company recently filed for patent protection of the new Algae Screen technology, its twelfth patent application, entitled "Enhancing Algae Growth by Reducing Competing Microorganisms in a Growth Medium."
"All algae are targets for invasion. Oil-rich algae are particularly attractive to rotifers and other microscopic predators," said Paul Reep, Senior VP of Technology. "Algae Screen will protect an algae culture continuously from microscopic invaders, such as rotifers, bacteria, and ciliates. An additional unique benefit is that it integrates fully with Live Extraction, since it is based on similar technology."
Microscopic invaders, such as rotifers, reduce the value of the algae crop by metabolizing valuable oil and biomass. Additionally, invasions can choke off algae growth and reduce the percentage of daily harvest. The problem exists in all types of growth systems, but most acutely in open ponds.
Algae Screen targets invaders with calibrated pulses of low-power electromagnetic energy that leave the algae safe. The pulsing and power levels are adjustable for different algae types and environmental conditions such as water hardness and salinity. Together with Live Extraction, Algae Screen offers a safe and easily manageable resource for algae health and continuous harvesting.