International carbon capturing-MBD Energy, Origin Oil

MBD Energy's potential

Innovative algae-to-fuel project gets funding nod

Yesterday (Thursday, July 8) Innovation Minister Senator Kim Carr announced a significant funding boost to the algae to bio-oil and feedstock project at JCU. Senator Carr visited the MBD-JCU research facility at the Townsville campus and inspected the facility – a pilot project that is aimed at commercialising the development of Bio Carbon and Capture Storage technology. The process consumes large quantities of greenhouse gases while producing low cost bio-oil and animal feedstock.l

Last week, representatives from JCU, MBD and the Advanced Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (AMCRC) attended the official signing of the agreement at JCU in Townsville (pictured above).


July 8, 2010


A new project by the Advanced Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre, MBD Energy Ltd and James Cook University is set to revolutionise the way we deal with greenhouse gas emissions from power stations.

The environmentally friendly technology will use special strains of algae to consume large quantities of greenhouse gases emitted by power stations, and convert this into valuable products like low-cost bio-oil and animal feedstock.

This innovative project, expected to cost about $10 million, includes support for a research and development facility based at James Cook University and construction of a commercial facility at Queensland’s Tarong Power Station.

Innovation Minister Senator Kim Carr welcomed the new project, saying the benefits of biological reprocessing of the carbon produced in power generation are clear.

“Development of a one hectare pilot project at the Tarong Power Station will capture 700 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year,” Senator Carr said.

“It could lead to an 80 hectare site consuming over 70,000 tonnes of emissions and producing 11 million litres of oil and 25,000 tonnes of feedstock.

“In the process, the algae double their biomass every 24 hours and allow the waste water in which they are grown to be recycled.

“The researchers at James Cook University have a national and international reputation as leaders in the field and this project will advance our understanding of the algal synthesis process that makes this technology work.

“These are exciting projects and will help pave the way for biological carbon collection on a much larger scale.”

The project will support research and commercialisation activities under the Cooperative Research Centre’s next-generation technologies research program.


June 7, 2010

The revolutionary algae to fuel process being developed at James Cook University has taken a large leap forward following an agreement with a US company.

Associate Professor Kirsten Heimann, Director of JCU’s North Queensland Algal Indentification/Culturing Facility said that it brought the goal of bio fuel becoming a viable competitor to crude oil sourced petroleum one important step closer.

Associate Professor Heimann runs the MBD Energy Ltd and JCU joint research and development facility at the University’s Townsville Campus that is using captured carbon dioxide to feed algae, which in turn produces both biodiesel and feedstock.

“This agreement between MBD Energy and OriginOil is a huge development,” she said.

Under the agreement OriginOil Inc will equip MBD Energy with its breakthrough technology to extract oil from algae,

Trials will now match the OriginOil extraction technologies to MBD’s CO2 to energy system at the joint research and development facility at JCU.

The algal synthesisers will use captured smoke-stack CO2 emissions as feedstock to rapidly grow oil-rich algae in the company’s proprietary design solar membranes.

MBD Energy has already reached agreement with three of Australia’s largest coal fired power generators to build MBD Bio Carbon Capture and Storage (Bio CCS) Algal Synthesiser test facilities adjacent to their utilities in Queensland, Victoria and News South Wales.

OriginOil and MBD have agreed that, subject to the success of the initial test phase, MBD will look to incorporate significantly larger oil extraction units to serve the facilities planned at Tarong Energy (Queensland), Loy Yang A (Victoria) and Eraring Energy (New South Wales).

MBD’s managing director Andrew Lawson said each of the three current power station Bio CCS algal synthesiser projects had the potential to grow to 80 hectare commercial plants, each capable of producing 11 million litres of oil for plastics and transport fuel, and 25,000 tonnes of drought‐proof animal feed and expanding to eventually consume more than half of each power station’s problem flue-gas emissions.

“We are delighted at becoming OriginOil’s first major customer and of working with the OriginOil team to forge a comprehensive commercial relationship as real potential game changers in the exciting third generation bio-fuels space,” Mr Lawson said.
Associate Professor Heimann said that following the agreement there was now the potential for expansion to major greenhouse gas emitters in the US and internationally and a significant opportunity to provide local oil and energy security from existing carbon infrastructure.

“The environmental benefits of using algae to create biodiesel and feedstock are enormous,” she said.

“Algae require large volumes of carbon dioxide to grow which means less carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere.  Companies that do produce carbon dioxide will eventually be able to claim credits as the carbon dioxide can be stored or captured and released in to algae farms.”


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