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Algae Filtration and Oil Extraction Device

Award Information

Department of Energy
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2010 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
26 d
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Cadtrak Engineering, LLC
31 Santa Barbara Avenue San Anselmo, CA 94960-1653
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2010
Title: Algae Filtration and Oil Extraction Device
Agency: DOE
Contract: DE-FG02-10ER85757
Award Amount: $98,845.00


Algae-based biofuels are more expensive than both petroleum based fuels and biofuels derived from other forms of biomass. It is estimated that the processing of algae using current techniques can account for 50% or more of the cost of the biofuel. The cost competitiveness of biofuels derived from algae feedstock can be greatly improved through innovation in the areas of harvesting, dewatering and algal-oil-extraction. A new filter design is proposed which uses a metal membrane in combination with an innovative cleaning assembly to filter algae and produce concentrations up to 25% (wt/wt). Additionally, this innovative metal membrane can be engineered to cause cell disruption and thus oil extraction. The potential exists for a single low energy technology to perform both dewatering and wet oil extraction at a fraction of the cost of existing technologies. This Phase 1 proposal involves demonstration of feasibility through analysis, design and component fabrication. During Phase 2 Cadtrak Engineering would conduct extensive laboratory and field testing of the systems. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: Algae-based biofuels have the potential to alleviate the problems of CO2 emissions from fossil fuels and to lower US reliance on foreign sources of energy. A cost effective algae harvesting and oil extraction technology will go far in making this a reality. The filtration technology developed for this SBIR project would have wide ranging applications in drinking water and wastewater treatment, irrigation, and industrial process water. With the recent discovery of large quantities of water on the moon there will be a desire to mine the water for hydrogen production or life support systems. This filter technology would be ideal for filtering lunar regolith from melt-water in lunar mining projects.

Principal Investigator:

David Levitt

Business Contact:

David Levitt
Small Business Information at Submission:

Cadtrak Engineering, Llc
31 Santa Barbara Ave. San Anselmo, CA 94960

EIN/Tax ID: 320289290
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No