NewNergy discusses the latest inventions, innovations and breakthroughs in the energy & environmental sciences.

MKII- A Southern Invention Turns Sewage Algae to Oil

A Southern invention that turns sewage algae into crude oil is now operational but commercial testing of it is still three months away.The machine, known as the MKII, replicates the way oil is created naturally by pressure and those working on the project say it is 10 years ahead of similar projects worldwide.The oil produced can be refined into petrol, diesel and aviation fuel.

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.

Sewage To Oil

* 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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  In the beginning, there were algae,
but there was no oil Then, from algae came oil.
Now, the algae are still there, but oil is fast depleting
In future, there will be no oil, but there will still be algae  
So, doesn't it make sense to explore if we can again get oil from algae?
This is what we try to do at - explore the potential of getting oil from algae