OriginOil Inc., a Los Angeles company that’s developed a process to extract oil from algae, announced plans with a U.S. Department of Energy facility to work on a system that will better commercialize the technology.

OriginOil said over the weekend that, under research agreements with DOE’s Idaho National Laboratory, its proprietary harvesting process will be integrated with current biomass processing technology to create an integrated system for converting raw algae into barrels of crude oil.

“We are excited to work with OriginOil … and leverage its algae processing expertise and technology,” said Deborah Newby, project manager at the DOE’s Idaho lab, in a statement. “This may well support the U.S. military's strategic fuels diversification program.”

Chief Executive Riggs Eckelberry said one goal of the planned Biocrude System is to make it easier for algae growers to manufacture a direct crude oil replacement on site. That would make them more competitive in the world market for jet fuels and other transportation fuels.

“We believe this is a major breakthrough for OriginOil and a major step forward for the algae industry,” Eckleberry said in a statement.

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