Another Step Closer To Viable Algae-To-Oil Production
Thu, 02/05/2009 - 7:50am
OriginOil, the developer of a breakthrough technology to transform algae, a promising source of renewable oil, into a true competitor to petroleum, recently announced the successful automation of its Helix BioReactor™ system. The company sayst that this technology optimizes algae growth, making large-scale commercial algae production scalable. The design of the Helix BioReactor™ consists of low-energy lights arranged in a helix pattern and a rotating vertical shaft design, which allows algae culture to replicate exponentially within a smaller installation footprint. According to OriginOil, automation of this system is a key step towards continuous algae production, allowing greater control of the growth environment and more efficient, low-cost industrial algae production. "Algae is such a fantastic biofuel source because it grows quickly, is inexpensive to harvest and provides abundant amounts of oil relative to its size. The successful automation of our Helix BioReactor is an enormous leap for us, as it brings us one step closer to ending the worlds reliance on petroleum," says OriginOil founder and CEO, Riggs Eckelberry. This automation provides real-time control over all stages of monitoring, nutrient injection, and carbon dioxide delivery at the micron or Quantum Fracturing™ level. Nutrient and carbon dioxide delivery are precisely timed to a proprietary algorithm to provide an optimum micron-mixed fluid in the bioreactor. Through programming of certain key metrics, such as pH, oxidation-reduction potential and temperature, the system is capable of not only monitoring, but also controlling flow and timing of events in the algae growth cycle, which is crucial to controlling batch health in continuous algae production. According to Nicholas Eckelberry, co-founder of OriginOil, "By understanding the underlying code issues in the software design, we can utilize this information in our upcoming larger bioreactor versions, which is imperative to establishing algae as a true solution within the energy sector."