OriginOil, Inc. is developing a breakthrough technology that transforms 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, OOIL's 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. OOIL's unique technology, based on algae, is targeted at fundamentally changing our source of oil without disrupting the environment or food supplies. Instead of drilling for old oil, the Company can now manufacture clean, new oil, anytime and anywhere, delivering a revolutionary breakthrough to the world.
The Need for a New Oil
Exponential Demand for Oil
Petroleum has fueled the world's energy needs for the past century. Today, rapid industrialization in once-developing countries such as China and India is dramatically increasing worldwide oil consumption. In 2007, global oil demand rose twice as fast as it had the year before, reaching 36 billion barrels per year and a critical price point of more than $140 per barrel before finally pulling back in late 2008. The Energy Information Association’s predicted global oil demand of 43 billion barrels per year by 2030 may well be reached long before that date.
Old Oil is a Problem
Unfortunately, oil supplies are decreasing. Producers are now drilling in ever-more-remote, war-torn and environmentally sensitive areas. On the way to running out of oil altogether, the world will experience serious shortages that will cause catastrophic economic dislocation and decades of continued fighting over the last remaining reserves.
In addition to being a fast-depleting resource, oil is a dangerous polluter and a major contributor to global warming when it is burned as a fuel — emitting over 3 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide per year into the atmosphere.
Replacing Oil Is a Challenge
Alternatives like hybrid, hydrogen and electric power are attractive but will take decades to phase in because they will require new infrastructure. Petroleum still powers the world today in the form of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, fuel oil, as well as chemical products like plastics, solvents, fertilizers and pesticides.
Trillions of dollars are invested in the world’s oil infrastructure. The only viable replacement for petroleum is a new fuel that is cost competitive and can be used directly in the existing oil network. The world needs a new oil.
Algae Can Be The New Oil
The Problem with Crop-Based Biofuels
A new generation of biofuels, derived from farmed crops such as corn, sugarcane, rapeseed and palm has been touted as the replacement for petroleum. But these all fall short of displacing petroleum because they require vast amounts of precious resources like water, rainforests, and farmlands. Additionally, crops like corn require a great deal of energy to turn into fuel and are less energy-rich than petroleum.
Simply put, no farmed crop can compete with petroleum. Biofuels as we know them are a dead end.
Algae Is the Ideal Replacement for Oil
A small organism, micro-algae (algae), is the natural replacement for petroleum. In fact, most of the petroleum we use today is made up of ancient algae. Algae is a highly efficient biological factory capable of taking carbon dioxide (CO2), a waste product, and converting it into a high-density liquid form of natural oil through photosynthesis.
In other words, algae turns CO2, a bad thing, directly into oil, a good thing.
OriginOil’s patent-pending, breakthrough technology can provide the world with an endless supply of cost-competitive and environment-friendly oil to displace petroleum.
Next Generation Technologies
Unlike many current approaches to algae oil cultivation, OriginOil is employing several next-generation technologies to greatly enhance algae cultivation and oil extraction, and to allow scalable industrialization of this process to make algae a high-yield, cost-competitive replacement for petroleum.
There are three primary challenges in cultivating algae for oil:
1. Algae growth is dependent on a calm fluid environment; it does not like agitation. One of the primary challenges is how to optimally introduce carbon dioxide (CO2) and nutrients needed by the growing algae culture without disrupting or over-aerating it.
2. Algae requires light as a source of energy to fuel its growth and oil production facilities. Algae cultivation systems need to cost-effectively and evenly distribute light within the algae culture.
3. Algae organisms are protected by a tough cell wall. That wall must be cracked - an energy-expensive process - to extract the oil. The challenge is to maximize oil yield by cracking as many of the algae cells as possible with the smallest amount of energy.
Algae Oil Basics
The Environment-Friendly Oil
Algae can take many forms, such as seaweed (macro-algae) and kelp. But for oil, we use micro-algae as found in outdoor ponds. Micro-algae is actually a highly efficient biological factory capable of consuming carbon dioxide (CO2), and converting it into a high-density natural oil through photosynthesis.
Much of the world's petroleum is actually made up of algae that decomposed over hundreds of millions of years. But by drilling for, extracting, and burning that oil now, we are releasing the carbon dioxide that was absorbed long ago. This "carbon positive" effect is what causes global warming.
Algae cultivated today absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere or other CO2 emitted sources. Burning freshly produced algae oil releases only what it absorbed in the first place, resulting in a balanced "carbon neutral" effect. This makes algae oil an environment-friendly oil.
Oil Generation from Algae
Algae reproduce by cellular division. They divide and divide until they fill the space available to them and have consumed all nutrients in it.
In the right environment, fresh algae cells grow and divide exponentially, doubling every few hours, while absorbing all available nutrients, CO2 and light energy.
An Industrial Process for Algae
OriginOil's industrial process, with its patent pending devices and methods, optimizes this environment to help algae cells grow at their natural maximum rate - achieving a doubling of the algae population in as little as a few hours. The process then goes on to control the harvesting and oil extraction cycles in a high-speed, round-the-clock, streamlined industrial production of algae oil.
Instead of waiting hundreds of millions years for algae to become oil, OriginOil's breakthrough technology and process can transform algae into oil in a matter of days.
The Ultimate Algae Growth Environment
The heart of the OriginOil system is the Helix BioReactor™, an advanced algae growth system that can grow multiple layers of algae biomass around-the-clock with daily harvests.
In a natural pond, the sun only illuminates one layer of algae growth, down to about half an inch below the surface. In contrast, the Helix BioReactor™ features a rotating vertical shaft with very low energy lights arranged in a helix or spiral pattern, which results in a theoretically unlimited number of growth layers. Additionally, each lighting element is engineered to produce specific light waves and frequencies for optimal algae growth.
The helix structure also serves as the bioreactor’s nutrient delivery system, through which the Quantum Fractured nutrients, including CO2, is evenly delivered to the entire algae culture, monitored and tuned for optimum growth.
This algae growth environment will allow the algae culture to replicate exponentially — doubling the entire colony in as little as a few hours — making for very efficient, low-cost, low-footprint industrial algae production.
Modular and Scalable Growth System
Enabling a Distributed Oil Model
To reach the production levels necessary to realistically replace petroleum as an energy source, an algae oil production system must be fully scalable.
The OriginOil System is designed to be both modular and scalable. While it can function as a stand-alone oil producing system, it can also be connected in a stacked or parallel network to produce a large number of barrels per day.
OriginOil’s patent pending system design facilitates large scale algae production through the horizontal and vertical “stacking” of many Helix BioReactors™ into an integrated network of fully automated, portable, and remotely monitored growth units.
Further, by the use of such modular design, a large number of Helix BioReactors™ can be connected to a small number of extraction units to achieve both economies of scale and full industrialization of algae production.
Additionally, OriginOil systems can be transported and placed anywhere in the world to operate as fully integrated, round-the-clock oil-producing plants.
By enabling distributed oil production, we can help decentralize the oil and energy industry, empowering local energy production in villages, townships, communities, states and countries. Someday we will no longer need to import oil.
Low Cost Oil Extraction
Processing Algae is Energy-Intensive and Costly
Harvesting algae is a challenge. Algae grow suspended in large volumes of water. Once ready for harvest, the algae culture must be concentrated and the oil extracted from each cell. Then, the oil, water and biomass must all be separated for processing. The new OriginOil process achieves all these steps in one pass.
Single-Step Extraction™: Simpler and More Efficient
Initial testing indicates that the new algae oil extraction process is simpler and more efficient than current systems, without requiring chemicals or significant capital expenditure for heavy machinery.
In addition to integrating this process into its own production system, OriginOil plans to rapidly commercialize the patent-pending process for use by others in the fast-growing algae industry.
The Single-Step Extraction Process
In the process, Quantum Fracturing™ combines with pulsed electromagnetic fields and pH modification to break down cell walls, thereby releasing the oil within the cells. Algae oil rises to the top for skimming and refining, while the remaining biomass settles to the bottom for further processing as fuel and other valuable products.
Mature algae culture is injected through through the OriginOil device, where Quantum Fracturing™, pulsed electromagnetic fields and pH modification (using CO2) combine to break the cell walls. The processed culture now travels into a settling tank, or gravity clarifier, to fully separate into oil, water and biomass.