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Southern Invention Turns Sewage Algae Into Crude Oil

January 20th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted in Algae-Cultivation, Algae-Cultivation-Sewage

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Invercargill engineering firm BL Rayners Ltd and Christchurch recycling company Solvent Rescue Ltd have collaborated under the name Solray to develop the machine, which has taken them 18 years to perfect.

Solvent Rescue owner Chris Bathurst said the MKII had been operating for the past four months after performing to expectation during its testing phase.It was two to three months away from being used commercially at the Bromley oxidation ponds in Christchurch, he said”It’s a high-risk project but we feel we’re ahead of the game.”

The machine left sewage water clean, while the algae absorbs carbon dioxide, making the technology appealing to councils and heavy polluters, Mr Bathurst said. Twelve councils had already made inquiries, he said.

  • The machine uses high pressure to turn algae, grown in sewage ponds, into algal sludge.
  • The sludge is then processed using pressure, temperature, timing and a secret catalyst to turn it into crude oil.
  • The crude oil can then be refined into jet fuel (kerosene), petrol, methane, LPG, diesel, or bitumen.
  • The sewage pond water is left clean enough to be re-used by industry.
  • The algae absorbs carbon dioxide.
  • The process replicates how oil is created naturally, but much faster.

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