Research and Academic
OriginOil and Catalina Sea Ranch have announced an agreement to a collaborative exchange of equipment and information on 15 April 2014. OriginOil will provide its demonstration-scale EWS Algae Model 12 system to Catalina Sea Ranch, which will use it to treat incoming seawater and harvest algae to feed its shellfish nursery and selective breeding program. Catalina Sea Ranch will provide independent data on the efficiency and use of the machine, and will give OriginOil access to its nursery for field research.
“We are delighted with this partnership,” said Phil Cruver, CEO of Catalina Sea Ranch. “Southern California Marine Institute, where our shellfish nursery is located, has a sophisticated closed filtration seawater system, and we believe OriginOil’s A12 will help remove dissolved nitrogenous waste, biological contaminants such as algae and bacteria, and chemical contaminants such as heavy metals.”
Cruver added: “On the feed side, we are excited to use the A12 to harvest algae as feed for our nursery. This dual use is another first for Catalina Sea Ranch, America’s innovative deepwater shellfish program.”
Catalina Sea Ranch is the first offshore shellfish ranch in U.S. Federal waters.
OriginOil is currently providing algae growth and harvesting systems to the Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory (INL), to assist it in its task of evaluating competing algae-to-biofuels technologies for its grants and loans programs.
Previously a group leader and principal scientist at INL, Thomas H. Ulrich, Ph.D is now coordinating these efforts as a member of OriginOil’s advisory board.
OriginOil has collaborated with New Mexico State University (NMSU) since 2011 on a project to monitor energy costs for OriginOil’s EWS Algae technology. OriginOil has donated two harvesting machines to NMSU’s “Energy Research Laboratory” program, led by Professor Peter Lammers.
“We are trying to quantify the costs of harvesting using various approaches” said Professor Lammers. “A team in our Civil Engineering Dept lead by Prof. N. Nirmalakhandan is also interested in trying to develop a mechanistic model for the electroflocculation process. Current work is generating data to facilitate those studies. Chlorella sorokiniana is being cultivated at the NMSU algae cultivation testbed for these harvesting studies.”
The Carnegie Foundation categorizes NMSU as a Research University with high research activity. In terms of national recognition, NMSU consistently ranks in the top 115 institutions in the nation by research and development expenditures, according to the National Science Foundation, and is in the top tier of the U.S. News & World Report Best National Universities rankings. NMSU’s Energy Research Laboratory is funded by two grants from the Department of Energy and another from the National Science Foundation through the “Energize New Mexico” EPSCoR Program (http://www.nmepscor.org).
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