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OriginOil Announces Breakthrough Hydrogen Harvester Invention

July 8, 2010
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New Technology Taps Hydrogen Generated by Living Algae

LOS ANGELES, Jul 08, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) — OriginOil, Inc. (OOIL), the developer of a breakthrough technology to transform algae, the most promising source of renewable oil, into a true competitor to petroleum, today announced a new invention that generates hydrogen from living algae, providing an additional energy source from bioreactors. In contrast to previously reported developments in the area, the new Hydrogen Harvester(TM) uses little or no external energy inputs, requires no sulfur deprivation or other “stressing” of the algae, and no genetic modification. The process employs viable, high growth rate, high oil content algae strains.

“One of the primary challenges for algae production is to achieve the best-possible energy balance,” said Riggs Eckelberry, OriginOil CEO. “By harvesting hydrogen from algae we are able to increase the energy output of virtually any algae production system. The result is a photosynthetic technology platform that yields energy in the form of oil, biomass, and hydrogen.”

Algae already create oxygen through photosynthesis. Recovering hydrogen provides the necessary ingredients for electricity generation using fuel cells. The energy can be used to offset the electricity requirements of algae cultivation, harvesting and downstream processing.

Dr. Brian Goodall, OriginOil’s new CTO, commented: “The co-generation of hydrogen at the algae production site is a critical development for the realization of a completely integrated algal biorefinery. All routes from algae to ‘drop-in’ fuels such as renewable diesel and jet fuel require hydrogen and hydrotreating. The Hydrogen Harvester technology would eliminate the need for hydrogen pipelines and dependence on existing refineries which are typically far removed from ideal sites for algae growth.”

The Hydrogen Harvester will be integrated into OriginOil’s existing portfolio of algae growth technologies, including the recently announced MultiReactor(TM). It will also be available as an add-on to other industry growth systems.

The company recently filed for patent protection of the new hydrogen harvesting technology, its tenth patent application, entitled “Bio Energy Reactor.” While the invention is applicable to any photosynthetic organism, algae is thought to be most productive.

Hydrogen has often been called the perfect fuel. Its major reserve on earth (water) is inexhaustible, meaning that we will never run out of hydrogen. Hydrogen, if produced cleanly, efficiently and affordably from renewable resources, is the ultimate green energy solution: It produces no air pollutants or greenhouse gases when used in fuel cells and the only pollutants generated when burned in internal combustion engines are nitrogen oxides (NOx).

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has stated that producing hydrogen by direct water-splitting technologies — using photosynthetic microorganisms — is the “Holy Grail” of the hydrogen economy, the ultimate clean and sustainable hydrogen production method, and is the focus of long-term R&D efforts at NREL. OriginOil believes that the new Hydrogen Harvester could represent the breakthrough needed to power the hydrogen economy.

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. To learn more about OriginOil(TM), please visit our website at

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One Comment leave one →
  1. July 26, 2010 8:19 pm

    After reading a recent June 22 article titled: Investing in Carbon Capture link shown below,
    I have realized that the carbon capturing industry is moving fast, so fast, that just one month ago outdated methods of carbon capture and storage have been talked about as a realistic form of investment for carbon capturing. Note to the author: New technologies have been integrated and are emerging to offer new opportunities for those looking to invest in Carbon Capture.
    This article starts off by stating,
    “Capturing carbon dioxide emissions from sources, such as large power plants, and storing those emissions away from the atmosphere is an important means of mitigating environmental damage caused by the burning of fossil fuels.” The article then goes on later to say, “Capturing carbon emissions and storing them underground is a crucial technology as we build a clean energy future and address the threat of climate change,” said Secretary Chu.” Yes it mitigates environmental damage, I agree, but storing carbon underground serves no purpose economically and racks up a long list of costs and liabilities. Transferring Co2 via pipeline hundreds if not thousands of miles underground to store in a “secure” underground facility serves the world as a whole, very little purpose and contains a high level of risk. Creating and maintaining the facility is the only job creation that comes from this method of storing carbon underground. Creating jobs only for engineering firms and big bucked CEO’s. Followed by a small trickle down effect realized by employers in a vertically integrated system and temporary sales growth for suppliers. To truly benefit from carbon capture, we have to take the storage part out of the equation and replace it with product creation. The job creation and value chain that will result from this new method of carbon capturing will revolutionize the industry. A producer to consumer supply and demand chain will be created, new jobs will result and new markets will evolve
    Recent technology integrations from Australian company MBD Energy and the United States own Origin Oil has created new investment opportunities for those ready to cash in on carbon capture for profit. The two companies are well on their way to developing the worlds first carbon capturing system that has the ability to capture carbon and instead of storing the emissions underground, they temporarily store the emissions in algal synthesizers and bioreactors to support the growth of algae. The algae is then cultured and separated using Origin Oil’s patent pending single step extraction unit to produce bio-fuel and animal feed stock that can be sold as commodities on the open market. MBD Energy recently had their integrated test facility evaluated by Australian innovation leader Senator Carr. The inspections resulted in a 5 million dollar boost in funding to expand MBD Energy’s facilities. This 5 million dollar grand will be matched by MBD Energy and will allow them to expand to a one hectare pilot project plant expected to be completed by end of the first quarter 2011.
    With early technology integration test trials receiving additional funding the future looks bright for MBD Energy and Origin Oil. These early trial successes have led to great optimism for both companies. The ability for both companies to profit from their current position and become industry leaders in carbon capturing seems highly probable and very likely to succeed. Speculation however still looms on this particular project. The question that still remains is can this method be done on a mass industrial scale? I believe that if it can be done on a small scale it can be engineered to be done on a large scale but only time will tell. Please let me know what you think, leave your thoughts, concerns and further insight on this topic in the comment box below.

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