OriginOil, Inc. recently notified Australia-based MBD Energy Limited that it is ready to ship a Quantum Fracturing System for algae, the first unit in a multi-phase commercialization program. (Earlier post.) The notification triggers a payment under a purchase order from the Australia-based customer.
The company’s Single-Step Extraction System, designed to efficiently separate algae oil from its biomass, will be the next deliverable and will trigger another payment under the purchase order.
In May, the parties agreed on a multi-phase commercialization program under which OriginOil will supply MBD Energy with its algae-to-oil technology platform in progressively larger installations. Subject to the success of the initial test phase, MBD will purchase significantly larger systems to serve its power station projects in Australia, beginning with a one-hectare pilot plant at Tarong Power Station in South Eastern Queensland, and expanding to full production sites at all three of MBD’s power station projects in Australia.
According to MBD Energy, each of its power station projects has the potential to grow to 80-hectare commercial plants, each capable of producing 11 million liters of oil for plastics and transport fuel, and 25,000 tonnes of drought-proof animal feed annually. MBD Energy estimates that the projects will eventually consume more than half of each power station’s flue-gas emissions.
OriginOil’s Quantum Fracturing System breaks down nutrients such as CO2 into micro-particles that stay suspended in water longer, allowing algae to feed more efficiently. The Single-Step Extraction system is the first commercial “wet” extraction system, able to separate algae oil from its biomass without costly and energy-intensive dewatering operations.
MBD is an Australia-based public, unlisted technology company. One of the world’s largest mining companies, Anglo American, became a cornerstone investor in MBD in 2009 and Anglo Coal’s Global CEO, Seamus French, has recently joined as a non-executive director of MBD Energy. The MBD Energy Board is chaired by former BHP Chairman, Jerry Ellis.
MBD has a joint research and development facility located at James Cook University (JCU), Townsville, Queensland. MBD Energy and its JCU team use captured flue-gases as feedstock to produce algal biomass for Bio-CCS. In addition to the project at Tarong Power Station, MBD Energy currently has two similar projects underway with Loy Yang Power in Victoria and Eraring Energy in New South Wales. MBD Energy is a founding member of the Bio CCS program. The program is made up of a number of regional projects with each targeting 50 million tonnes of greenhouse gas sequestration per year by 2020.