Continuous Algae Harvesting Network Developed

Joanna Schroeder

OriginOil has announced that it has developed a real-time control network to supervise continuous algae harvesting operations aimed for large scale algae production sites. The network, code named “Green Stick,” will be installed at Australian algae producer MDB Energy’s power plant test site. In this configuration, the system will interface with MBD’s own growth control system and integrate its operations with the Single Step Extraction and downstream concentration and separation processes.

“Anyone harvesting algae at large scale has to deal with literally hundreds of variables in real time,” said Paul Reep, OriginOil’s Senior VP of Technology. “That’s why we built this dynamic system that can adjust harvest settings on the fly.”

The company says that there are hundreds of interactions that are critical to automate and scale large production operations including algae growth, detwatering, flocculation, cell lysing and oil recovery and have been primarily done manually. Their technology automates the entire process. The system is managed by a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition System (SCADA) that connects the biology and engineering with high throughput process control.

OriginOil recently filed for a patent of the new control technology; this is its 16th patent application. Inventors include Reep and Gavin Grey, senior director of engineering.

algae, biofuels