OriginOil: Biofuels Digest’s 2015 5-Minute Guide

March 23, 2015 |

5-Minute-Guide-logoOriginOil offers a non-chemical, low-energy technology for the removal of organic materials in water. The company’s proprietary Electro Water Separation (EWS) technology can be applied across the algae, oil & gas and waste industries to remove both contaminants and valuable resources. For the algae industry, OriginOil is able to effectively and efficiently harvest algae in high concentrations and significantly reduce bacterial contamination. The harvesting technology enables a wide array of algae markets, from biofuels to nutraceuticals to aquafeed and beyond.

The Situation:

OriginOil continues to develop and promote new technologies; it has been a dizzying ride from algae production systems to the Quantum Fracturing System and now the company’s Electro Water Separation system.

Good news for the company’s fans? Industrial Systems Inc.  as of September 2014 had sold four industrial systems, powered by OriginOil’s EWS, to Synergy Resources for produced water and oily waste treatment in Trinidad and Tobago (T&T). This milestone represents the first commercial sale by an OriginOil licensee of a system incorporating EWS. The four units, built for on-site processing of waste oil, are each capable of treating 250 barrels per day of contaminated water. Synergy Resources, of oil-rich Trinidad & Tobago, expects the system to reduce water treatment costs, lessen adverse environmental impacts, decrease freshwater requirements for industrial processes such as steam reinjection for enhanced oil recovery, and help operators comply with environmental regulations.

Overall, results have been thin on the sales side, so far. $140K in sales in 2013,  compared to $588K in 2012. And no word yet on 2014 sales. Losses have been steady — $8.7M in 2013 vs $10.6M in 2012. But OriginOil keeps looking for the right combination of market and product — and they certainly win the award for being hungry for opportunity.

Back in 2010, the news from OriginOil tended to focus on projects like “ready to ship its Quantum Fracturing System to MBD Energy’s research and development facility at James Cook University in Queensland, Australia. Subject to the success of the initial test phase, MBD will purchase significantly larger systems to serve its power station projects in Australia, beginning with a one-hectare pilot plant at Tarong Power Station in South Eastern Queensland, and expanding to full production sites at all three of MBD’s power station projects in Australia.”

By 2012, it was highlighting its “Solids Out of Solution technology”, that would will help the aquaculture industry reduce toxin levels and adopt algae as fish feed on a wide scale. Building on its initial successful lab results, OriginOil has agreed to develop a cooperative partnership with WeFeedUs, a Carlisle, Pennsylvania-based aquaculture company, to test and validate OriginOil’s proprietary water decontamination and algae harvesting technologies for aquaculture systems in the field.

Bottom line: it has correctly judged that, like Levi Strauss making jeans for gold rush miners, that there’s a substantial business opportunity in serving the emerging algae producers with hot technologies for separation and extraction, and has smartly expanded its focus out to existing industries, such as aquaculture, waste remediation and oil & gas, that are already at scale.


OriginOil is primarily a licensing company; non-exclusive private labels and OEM licenses are available to industry partners. In addition, OriginOil is selling complete systems to licensees and end-users in need of immediate solutions. OriginOil’s new Hong Kong subsidiary plans to develop JVs, and a manufacturing and R&D facility in China.

Competitive Advantage

Algae is abundant, yet traditional methods for extracting it are too costly, degrade concentration and result in short shelf life. OriginOil’s EWS is a high-speed, continuous, low-energy process for generating a viable algae concentrate, with compelling CapEx at all scales. EWS reduces bacteria to extremely low levels, extending its shelf life.

Past milestones:

In 2014, OriginOil increased capacity of its entry-level harvester from 4 to 25 liters per minute, and improved efficiency and control of bacteria in commercial algae production.

In March 2014, the National Algae Association (NAA) has selected OriginOil’s entry-level algae harvester for its model demonstration site, which features best-of-breed algae production systems in permanent operation.

In January 2014, OriginOil announced that it will collaborate with Israel’s AquaGreen Fish Farms, Ltd to further streamline zero-discharge aquaculture systems for the production of chemical free seafood. The agreement followed a high-profile launch of OriginOil’s Permanent Showcase in December

Also in January 2014, OriginOil announced that it has agreed to supply its water management solutions to a new East Asian hydroponics venture backed by Orix Corp., Japan’s largest financial services and leasing company.

In December 2013, the company inaugurated its Permanent Technology Showcase with a demonstration of its EWS Aqua Q60 and EWS Algae A60 models at Aqua Farming Tech, a sustainable fish farm in Thermal, Calif., located in California’s Coachella Valley.


In October 2013, the company launched its Electro Water Separation Model 12 saying that it had tripled the capacity of its entry-level algae harvester from four to twelve liters per minute at no additional cost, with improved energy efficiency.

Future milestones:

OriginOil will be bidding on funding opportunities from the DOE related to algae cultivation for bioproducts and plans in 2015 to transfer engineering improvements from its 5,000 bpd frack water treatment system to its algae harvesting systems. To increase remote monitoring, OriginOil will expand its control system firmware capabilities.

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