Technology taps hydrogen generated by living algae

OriginOil, Inc., the developer of a technology to transform algae into a competitor to petroleum, announced a new invention that generates hydrogen from living algae, providing an additional energy source from bioreactors.

The new Hydrogen Harvester™ uses little or no external energy inputs, requires no sulfur deprivation or other “stressing” of the algae, and no genetic modification. The process employs viable, high growth rate, high oil content algae strains.

“One of the primary challenges for algae production is to achieve the best-possible energy balance,” said Riggs Eckelberry, OriginOil CEO. “By harvesting hydrogen from algae we are able to increase the energy output of virtually any algae production system. The result is a photosynthetic technology platform that yields energy in the form of oil, biomass, and hydrogen.”

Recovering hydrogen provides the necessary ingredients for electricity generation using fuel cells. The energy can be used to offset the electricity requirements of algae cultivation, harvesting and downstream processing.

The Hydrogen Harvester will be integrated into OriginOil’s existing portfolio of algae growth technologies, including the recently announced MultiReactor™. It will also be available as an add-on to other industry growth systems.

Hydrogen has often been called the perfect fuel. Its major reserve on earth (water) is inexhaustible, meaning that we will never run out of hydrogen. Hydrogen, if produced cleanly, efficiently and affordably from renewable resources, is the ultimate green energy solution: It produces no air pollutants or greenhouse gases when used in fuel cells and the only pollutants generated when burned in internal combustion engines are nitrogen oxides (NOx).