Algae benefits from the “Oprah Effect”
From: Riggs Eckelberry
Los Angeles, May 7, 2013
Algae’s most profitable product
We know what the biggest markets are for algae: fuel, chemicals, fertilizer and feed. I call them The Big Four.
These vast world markets represent enormous potential. Of course, getting there will take years. It just takes that long to build massive capacity.
But if you’re looking for today’s most profitable market, that’s probably Astaxanthin, which is what makes salmon and flamingoes pink.
Oprah’s Doctor Oz makes Astaxanthin famous
In January 2011, Dr. Mercola appeared on Oprah’s Doctor Oz show. In four minutes, he started a gold rush in “the #1 supplement you’ve never heard of that you should be taking”, “poised to become the next Vitamin D”.
By April, Astaxanthin leader Cyanotech reported that Astaxanthin demand was “skyrocketing”.
It’s priced at about $4,000 dollars a kilogram. The research firm Oilgae forecasts it will reach nearly $2 billion in sales by 2020, with applications in anti-oxidant nutraceuticals, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and food coloring.
Wow! But there’s a problem.
The problem with Astaxanthin
Astaxanthin is made from a green algae that I will call HP, for short. Once it’s mature, you stress it with UV lights, so it develops a protective red shell, containing between 1.5% and 4% Astaxanthin.
HP is a difficult algae to grow. It will fall apart when attacked by bacteria or when it’s spun too quickly in machinery.
Here’s where we can help:
- We can reduce the bacteria levels in the water, so HP won’t crash so easily.
- We can safely harvest the HP in a concentration that makes it much easier to stress the algae.
- Higher concentrations could lead to higher percentages of Astaxanthin.
Can OriginOil help the Astaxanthin market take off?
If we can do these things, then the Astaxanthin market, algae’s most profitable world market, can really take off.
It’s not too much to say that we will be at the center of a revolution.
Now you ask me, “Riggs, has OriginOil actually done this?”
Yes, my dear reader, yes. We have actually concentrated HP and turned it safely into Astaxanthin.
Think about what that means. You will know more about this, very soon.
Have a great week!
(Next CEO Update: Pressure Grows on Fracking)
Riggs and Team
President & CEO
OriginOil, Inc. (OOIL)
The 50 Hottest Companies in Bioenergy, 2012-2013 (photo)
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