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Turning Algae into Oil

DOE Pulse – March 16, 2009: "DOE's Idaho National Laboratory has teamed with OriginOil, Inc., to make oil from algae. "Algae is the fastest growing biomass that we know of," said OriginOil Chief Technical Officer Vikram Pattarkine. Algae — a photosynthesizing organism more primitive than plants — requires only light, carbon dioxide and limited nutrients to grow. Making biofuel from algae requires large quantities of algae and the means to process fat-soluble molecules inside cells, called lipids, to remove oils. The initial phase of the project will focus on developing an energy balance model for systems that grow algae in a "photobioreactor." INL will analyze OriginOil's technology, devise models for reducing costs and meeting some of the system's commercial requirements."

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