OriginOil Unveils In-House Pilot System

OriginOil Inc. has unveiled a comprehensive pilot system for algae growth and harvesting at its Los Angeles headquarters.

At the heart of the new system is a series of 200-gallon tanks which can be individually configured and managed for various strains, growth strategies, and lighting geometries. The tanks are now illuminated with LED light sticks submerged in icicle-like arrays. A stirrer circulates the algae slowly around the lights.

Once the algae reaches harvest concentration it is sent to the integrated extraction system, a combination of ultrasound generation and low-power electromagnetic pulsing. This new system has a throughput of 5 gallons per minute, which easily keeps up with the daily output of the pilot system.

After extraction, a series of settling tanks separates the oils and biomass for eventual use as fuel and valuable by-products. A water recycling system completes the loop so the process can start again.

“Algae will be local,” said Riggs Eckelberry, CEO of OriginOil. “Unlike today’s centralized energy systems, algae will go wherever the CO2 is, and that’s everywhere. Algae systems will be attached to wastewater plants, factories, breweries, and any other location that generates CO2. This will lead to a highly distributed energy production model and will truly deliver the jobs creation that we so urgently need in this country and the world.

To get a look inside OriginOil’s launch of the pilot system and hear from CEO Riggs Eckelberry about the company’s progress and possibilities for algae, watch the video below.


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