A-based water treatment solutions provider OriginClear Inc. and AlgEternal Technologies, a vertically-integrated producer of non-fuel high value products from microalgae, recently announced a formal licensing partnership, capping five years of continuous operation of OriginClear’s first-generation Smart Algae Harvester™ at AlgEternal’s LaGrange, Texas, headquarters.
AlgEternal first selected OriginClear’s EWS technology following exhaustive testing in 2013. In 2015, AlgEternal found that by using OriginClear’s technology to harvest pure algae, conventional fertilizer costs could be reduced by up to 40 percent.
More recently, in February, 2018, a Texas A&M team studied the effectiveness of Agtivate™, AlgEternal’s soil enrichment product, in rice production, showing that yields could be increased by 500 to 900 lbs per acre, while reducing standard nitrogen up to 75%.
These test results, according to the companies, demonstrated that OriginClear’s line of Smart Algae Harvesters is highly efficient, effectively controls bacteria in the algal paste product to facilitate a long shelf life, and ensures the algae cells are alive after harvesting.
AlgEternal deploys the Smart Algae Harvester in the production of its initial commercial products, Agtivate, as well as AlgAllure™ for natural skin care. “The algae sector in which we began seems to be taking off after a long incubation,” said Jean-Louis “JL” Kindler, President of OriginClear Technologies. “We see this elevated interest as a clear indication that this market is beginning to mature and expand.”
AlgEternal is now completing an upgrade of its production facility in La Grange, and plans to reach a commercial production level equivalent to a 1,000-gallon daily harvest of high-value algae paste. “This harvester is critical to our production of soil conditioners and skin care products,” said David Ramjohn, CEO of AlgEternal. “We still use that first unit provided by OriginClear five years ago, which speaks volumes for its durability and efficiency. This (new) licensing agreement allows AlgEternal to build units ourselves, reducing our capital costs, and increasing our processing and production capacity.”
While OriginClear has expanded into water treatment with its patented technology, it has maintained a presence in the field that produced this technology — algae biomass production. “The Smart Algae Harvester delivers a significant competitive advantage to AlgEternal in the fledgling algae biotechnology industry,” said Mr. Ramjohn. “Combining OriginClear’s technology with AlgEternal’s own patented Vertical Growth Modules™ for algae is as close to an algae production dream team as you can get.”
Prominent trends in the market, according to AlgEternal, also include the healthy consumer’s awareness and willingness to pay for non-toxic, natural cosmetics, that have beneficial effects. AlgAllure, for example, contains a natural marine red algal extract said to be highly beneficial to human skin.
“We believe that Agtivate is an effective solution for increasing food production and reducing soil damage,” said Mr. Ramjohn, “objectives necessitated by global megatrends including the desertification, and the forecasted increase of global population to 9.6 billion by 2050.”