Algae Filtration and Oil Extraction Device

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG02-10ER85757
Agency Tracking Number: 95422
Amount: $98,845.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2010
Solicitation Year: 2010
Solicitation Topic Code: 26 d
Solicitation Number: DE-FOA-0000161
Small Business Information
31 Santa Barbara Ave., San Anselmo, CA, 94960
DUNS: 830764945
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 David Levitt
 (415) 259-4929
Business Contact
 David Levitt
Title: Mr.
Phone: (415) 259-4929
Research Institution
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.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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