Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Origin Oil Brings Light to the Darkness for More Algae


Origin Oil's new "multi-layer" light focusing bioreactors allow for much more algal growth per acre of land (or sea). The light focusing lenses and prisms can even select the perfect wavelengths of light most preferred by algae for optimal growth rates.
The MultiReactor takes advantage of the fact that much more sun falls on the ground than vegetation can normally absorb. Its proposed solution is to capture the sunlight in a stack of growth layers. The new design uses an array of lenses to direct solar radiation from the top through a system of algae channels. Algae culture is pumped continuously to the top of the array and then trickles down through the layers, ensuring equal exposure. Tapping units at the end of the stack capture valuable gases.

The growth units are oriented east-west to capture the sun’s rays throughout the day. Adjustments are made for seasonal changes in the sun’s angle of incidence. The resulting system may be 10 to 20 times more efficient than single-layer systems, according to the company.

Algae prefer certain wavelengths, typically in the red and blue frequencies. This new design allows for filters and prisms to assure that only the wavelengths beneficial to algae get through, potentially diverting the rest for optional storage and night-time lighting.

Reducing the footprint required for algae growth enables co-location with industrial sources of CO2 and nutrient-rich wastewater, OriginOil says. These synergies make algae production more viable, and enable a distributed energy network. _GCC
Origin has 9 patent applications in the works -- including the one for the above invention -- and appears serious about succeeding in this challenging new eneterprise.

The need for energy -- including liquid fuels -- is driving an increasing amount of investment and creative energy. If not for the dark fog of statist strangulation falling over economies, the future would look much brighter.



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