Muradel: Biofuels Digest’s 2015 5-Minute Guide

April 6, 2015 |

5-Minute-Guide-logoTaking in algae, biomass and organic waste streams, Muradel is using Green2Black, a suite of state of the art harvesting, extraction and sub-critical water reactor technologies, to produce “green crude” – green environmentally, but black in color like its fossil crude equivalent.

“The feedstocks do not compete with the food chain and have no or low fresh water requirements. And Green2Black is an efficient closed-loop process that recycles its waste products,” Muradel’s team points out.

According to the company, “Green2Black is commercially scalable, ready to serve the growing demand in Australia and globally for renewable “drop-in” transportation fuels which are compatible with existing fuel infrastructure.”

The Situation:

Last November, Muradel launched its integrated demonstration plant to convert algae into green crude in Whyalla. The $10.7 million plant will produce 30,000 liters per year and represents the company’s first step toward an 80 million liter per year commercial scale plant.

Murdel’s technology, Green2Black, uses microalgae produced on site, plant biomass, and organic waste in an energy-efficient subcritical water reactor that converts the feedstock to crude oil in minutes.

The demonstration plant was partially funded through a $4.4 million grant from Australian Renewable Energy Agency. Additional in-kind and financial support came from the Whyalla City Council, the South Australian Government through BioSA, and Muradel’s shareholders. The plant is the first of its kind in Australia.

Rankings:

The 40 Hottest Smaller Companies in the Advanced Bioeconomy: #34, 2014-15

Major Investors

Muradel Pty Ltd was incorporated in December 2010 as a joint venture between Murdoch University, Adelaide Research and Innovation Pty Ltd and SQC Pty Ltd.

Muradel’s technology development is supported by Australia’s leading algae science from Murdoch University and the University of Adelaide.

SQC Pty Ltd is an outside investor.

Top Past Milestones

In June 2013, the Minister for Resources and Energy, The Hon. Gary Gray AO MP, unveiled the first “green crude” produced by Muradel from microalgae at pilot scale.“ Australia is in a strong position to capitalise on the growing global biofuel market, with companies like Muradel leveraging our abundance of sun and space to grow sustainable feedstocks, and applying their expertise to drive down the cost of advanced biofuels,” Minister Gray said.

In May 2013, Muradel decided to move its $3m algae pilot plant from Karratha, in the northwest of Australia, to Whyalla in the South because of budgetary constraints. The company, whose operations are primarily in the R&D stage as the company has not gotten out of the red yet, faced challenges paying for employees whose salaries were competitive with the local mining industry. The company intends to return to Karratha one day, as the region has high temperatures and low rainfall, making it an ideal location for growing algae. The Whyalla City Council has been “an engaged and pro-active partner in the development of Muradel’s plans for its demonstration plant and earlier this year agreed to lease an area of Council land for the project,” the company said.

Business Model

Operated as a limited liability, private Company

Scope to be an owner operator of licensee of technology

Competitive Edge

The secret to Muradel’s technology is the exploitation of a tiny non-invasive, naturally occurring and highly productive marine microalgae that can be readily concentrated and turned into oil.

MUR Elite algae strains

MUR Algae Harvesting System

Australian owned and based

Access to very considerable areas of marginal land

Excellent climate for algae production

Strong Government support

Research, or Manufacturing Partnerships or Alliances

Partnerships with Aban, India, OTHERS TBA

Company website

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Category: 5-Minute Guide

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