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OriginOil Plans to Commercialize Single-Step Process to Extract Oil from Algae

April 21, 2009

LOS ANGELES --- OriginOil Inc. said it has developed a single-step process to extract oil from algae and plans to commercialize the patent-pending process for use by the fast-growing algae industry.

Initial testing indicates that the new algae oil extraction process is more efficient than current systems, without requiring chemicals or significant capital expenditure for heavy machinery, OriginOil said.

A time-lapse video on the company website ( demonstrates the benefits of the process. In less than an hour, the oil, water and biomass separate by gravity alone. Unlike conventional systems, no chemicals or heavy machinery are used in this single-step process, and no initial dewatering is required, the company said. 

"Throughout the world, algae production is becoming a fact, but it still has to be harvested efficiently," said Riggs Eckelberry, CEO of OriginOil. "Our breakthrough technology accomplishes key parts of the harvesting process in a single, cost-effective step. We are planning to make our new technology available to our fast-growing industry."

The company recently filed for patent protection of the new algae oil extraction process, its seventh patent application.

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, the company said, achieves all these steps in one pass.

CEO Riggs Eckelberry will provide process details at the National Algae Association's Forum on April 30. Meanwhile, he will discuss the technology and OriginOil's work with the Department of Energy this week. "The Obama Administration has targeted renewable energy for 10 million new jobs in the next decade," concluded Eckelberry. "OriginOil plans to license its technology to help transform algae into a renewable and sustainable replacement for petroleum."

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