Australians harvest algae from coal pollution

    A commercial pilot project for carbon sequestration and large-scale algae biofuel manufacturing in Australia has been successfully completed, OriginOil announced today.

    The company partnered with Australian energy company MBD Energy through a licensing agreement that has allowed both companies to share intellectual property on proprietary algae-to-fuel conversion processes.

    The algae-to-fuel process in this case begins with an existing coal power plant.

    CO2, given off as a byproduct of MBD Energy’s coal-fired power plants, is captured by micro-algae. The micro-algae convert that captured CO2 and use it to reproduce, creating higher amounts of algae, which can then be used as algae biomass for fuel. That part of the process was developed by MBD Energy.

    The algae biomass is then put through OriginOil’s process. Its algae biomass is converted into oil that can be used for biofuel, while leaving behind concentrated algae biomass byproducts that can be used to make things like plastics.

    OriginOil has developed a one-step process in which the oil, water, and algae biomass separate out over time, making it easier and more cost-effective to retrieve, according to OriginOil.

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