The New Pacific Solution: Advancing Bio Fuel from Algae
The goal of bio fuel becoming a viable competitor to crude oil sourced petroleum is one important step closer with agreement reached between California’s OriginOil Inc., the owner of a breakthrough technology to extract oil from algae, and Australia’s MBD Energy, a world leader in the development of industrial scale production of algae from captured flue-gases from coal fired power stations as feedstock and to produce fuel oil.
The goal of bio fuel becoming a viable competitor to crude oil sourced petroleum is one important step closer with agreement reached between OriginOil Inc., the owner of a breakthrough technology to extract oil from algae, and MBD Energy Limited, a world leader in the development of industrial scale production of algae.
The parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding under which OriginOil will equip MBD Energy Limited, an Australian based company, with its Quantum Fracturing™ and Single Step Extraction™ systems.
Three of Australia’s largest coal fired power generators have committed to building test facilities adjacent to their power stations using MBD’s proprietary growth system, the Algae Synthesizer, where smoke-stack CO2 emissions are captured and used to grow oil-rich algae in solar bioreactors. This process effectively achieves BIO-CCS (Carbon Capture and Storage). In the full production systems, OriginOil’s technology will be integrated into the MBD system to enhance algae growth and perform oil extraction.
Trials will now match the OriginOil extraction technologies to MBD’s CO2 to energy system at MBD Energy’s research and development facility based at James Cook University in Queensland, Australia.
Andrew Lawson, Managing Director of MBD Energy, said: “We are delighted at becoming OriginOil’s first major customer and of working with the OriginOil team to forge a comprehensive commercial relationship as real potential game changers in the exciting third generation bio-fuels space.”
Riggs Eckelberry, OriginOil CEO said: “We have looked for a first customer funded to scale up its algae production while focusing on the long term development of our industry.”
The two companies agreed that, subject to the success of the initial test phase, MBD will look to incorporate significantly larger oil extraction units to serve facilities planned for its three Bio CCS Algal Synthesiser power station projects in Australia, Tarong Energy (Queensland), Loy Yang A (Victoria) and Eraring Energy (New South Wales). Clearly the potential for expansion to major greenhouse gas emitters in the US and internationally is a significant opportunity to provide local oil and energy security from existing carbon infrastructure.
Officially opening the expanded MBD Energy Limited R&D facility in November 2009 the Queensland State Premier Anna Bligh said: “the revolutionary algal carbon capture and storage (BIO-CCS) technology is already proving successful in trials and will soon be rolled out at three coal fired power stations, including Tarong Power Station near Kingaroy. This technology has the potential to revolutionise carbon capture in Queensland and around the world.”
Premier Bligh added: “As our state continues to grow and coal remains a key export, it is essential we come up with new ways to manage the impact of that growth on our environment.”
The Queensland Premier announced that MBD would shortly commence construction of a one-hectare pilot plant at South Eastern Queensland’s Tarong Power Station. The trial aims to capture 700 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually and if successful could expand over the next 5 to 10 years to consume more than half of Tarong’s problem flue-gas emissions.
MBD’s Andrew Lawson said each of the three current power station Bio CCS algal synthesiser projects has the potential to grow to 80 hectare commercial plants, each capable of producing 11 million litres of oil for plastics and transport fuel, and 25,000 tonnes of drought‐proof animal feed and expanding to eventually consume more than half of each of the power station’s problem flue-gas emissions.
About OriginOil, Inc.
OriginOil, Inc. is developing a breakthrough technology that will transform algae, the most promising source of renewable oil, into a true competitor to petroleum. Much of the world’s oil and gas is made up of ancient algae deposits. Today, our technology will produce “new oil” from algae, through a cost-effective, high-speed manufacturing process. This endless supply of new oil can be used for many products, such as diesel, gasoline, jet fuel, plastics and solvents, without the global warming effects of petroleum. Other oil-producing feedstock, such as corn and sugarcane, often destroy vital farmlands and rainforests, disrupt global food supplies and create new environmental problems. Our unique technology, based on algae, is targeted at fundamentally changing our source of oil without disrupting the environment or food supplies.
About MBD Energy Limited
MBD is an Australian based public, unlisted technology company. One of the world’s largest mining companies, Anglo American, became a cornerstone investor in MBD in 2009 and Anglo Coal’s Global CEO, Seamus French, has recently joined as a non-executive director of MBD Energy. The MBD Energy Board is chaired by former BHP Chairman, Jerry Ellis. MBD has a joint research and development facility located at James Cook University (JCU), Townsville, Queensland. MBD Energy and its JCU team are regarded as international leaders in the use of captured flue-gases as feedstock to produce algal biomass for Bio-CCS. In addition to the project at Tarong Power Station, MBD Energy currently has two similar projects underway with Loy Yang Power in Victoria and Eraring Energy in New South Wales.
MBD Energy is a founding member of the Bio CCS program. The program is made up of a number of regional projects with each targeting 50 million tonnes of greenhouse gas sequestration per year by 2020.