Building on its initial successful lab results, OriginOil has agreed to develop a cooperative partnership with WeFeedUs, a Carlisle, Pennsylvania-based aquaculture company, to test and validate OriginOil’s proprietary water decontamination and algae harvesting technologies for aquaculture systems in the field.
OriginOil researchers used a lab-scale SOS system to process water with total ammonia content of approximately 30 parts per million (ppm), more than a dozen times the limit for optimal fish production. In the test, the process reduced this high ammonia content to less than 0.25 ppm in three minutes without the use of chemicals, or more than a 99 per cent reduction.
Under the intended joint research initiative, OriginOil will provide WeFeedUs with the technology and expertise to control the amount of ammonia and bacteria in onsite production ponds and scale its algae production. Similarly, WeFeedUs will apply its deep expertise in sustainable aquaponics and long-standing relationships with local universities to certify the effectiveness of OriginOil’s technologies in improving the profitability of aquaculture operations. The study is intended to determine the impact of the SOS sanitizing and algae harvesting technology in transforming the $100 billion global fish farming industry.
“Using OriginOil technology, WeFeedUs believes it may be able to accelerate aquaculture research and development and, ultimately, advance the commercialisation of a proprietary Algal inclusion, high-protein, high-value, specialty fish feed,” said Mike Andrus, Co-Founder and Principal of WeFeedUs.
“It could also help remove excess ammonia, fertilizers and chemicals from water, reduce the use of antibiotics, and decrease mortality rates.”
Mr Andrus continued: “We are excited to be the first to test this technology outside the lab to improve both the natural health of an aquaculture production system and the quantity per volume ratio, while providing more access to algae as a fish food source.”
“In 2010, the fast-growing global aquaculture industry farmed 60 million tons of fish with a market value of more than $119 billion,” said Riggs Eckelberry, OriginOil CEO.
“But heavy toxin levels limit growth and are unhealthy for the fish and the environment. We believe that we may be able to do something about that. We also believe that we may be able to help this industry adopt algae for feed on a much greater scale. It’s one of many secondary licensing opportunities for OriginOil technologies outside the energy industry and believe this is a potential game-changer for the global fish farming industry.”
According to the Fisheries and Aquaculture Department of the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), nearly half of the fish food supply for humans already comes from aquaculture, and rapid depletion of ocean fishing grounds is driving this figure higher.
The advantages of feeding algae to aquaculture species include increased growth and improved nutritional value in the fish due to the high content of Omega3s in many algae species.
“These dual benefits of OriginOil’s SOS technology could have enormous financial implications for the global fish farming industry,” said Jose Sanchez, general manager of OriginOil’s algae division.
“We are very excited to partner with WeFeedUs to further explore opportunities that can increase productivity and enable a more organic method of food production for aquaculture operations.”