AOS Filter Breakthrough

Thursday, 4 September 2014

BioLargo Featured in MicroCap Review Magazine

BioLargo, Inc. was recently featured in MicroCap Review’s Summer/Fall 2014 print and online issues. BioLargo is featured on page 30 in an article titled, “Is BioLargo’s ‘AOS Filter’ the World’s Most Valuable Technology?” where the author discusses the company’s Advanced Oxidation System (AOS) Filter solution and its multiple applications in the $360 billion water industry. The full article and publication can be found at www.MicroCapReview.com.

Is BioLargo’s “AOS Filter” The World’s Most Valuable Technology?

Water is now being called ‘the new gold’ because usable water is growing scarce and is arguably our planet’s most valuable resource.  We use it to produce oil and gas. We power our cities and run our factories with it. We grow crops and feed livestock with it. Like the air we breathe, water is essential for life. Relative to the seemingly endless supply of water, ‘usable water’ is becoming more difficult to find while demand continues to increase.



Two thirds of the surface of our planet is covered with water, but 97% is saltwater and not usable for consumption, agriculture or most other industrial purposes. There are countless desalinization plants around the globe, but there is no technology that converts salt water to fresh water cost-effectively and in the vast amounts needed. Of all the water on the planet, less than 1% is fresh water. That freshwater is found in rivers, lakes and groundwater, but flooding, natural disasters, and industrialization are rapidly polluting much of that and reducing it even further.

One of many sources of water pollution comes from the recovery and refining processes to produce the oil and gas we need for our homes, our cars and our factories. It is estimated that oil production will have to double in the next 20 years just to keep up with the increased demand. That may seem like a challenging but achievable objective, but with the advent of non-conventional, but essential supply sources like oil sands and shale gas, meeting that goal could require 4 gallons of water to produce one gallon of oil from oil sands or fracking, and another 4 gallons of water to refine one gallon of gas. In light of the heavy water requirements, the heavy water pollution, and the growing opposition to water pollution, the goal to expand energy production suddenly becomes daunting.

There are two formidable obstacles related to the water that is absolutely essential to the oil industry. First, there is a shortage in many regions that is already acting as a restraint on production. Second, the enormous amounts of wastewater produced from the recovery process is increasing the threat of toxic contamination of rivers, lakes and groundwater, and is becoming an economic and political barrier to further oil and gas production until more usable water can be found and until the toxic wastewater can be decontaminated quickly, cost-effectively, and safely returned to the earth.

The massive amounts of wastewater from oil recovery, fracking and refining are problematic, but are only the tip of the iceberg. According to EPA estimates, oil & gas and mining use about 1% of the useable water supply while agriculture uses about 37%. The wastewater from oil & gas and mining is highly toxic, but the wastewater from agriculture also contains large amounts of toxic chemicals and nutrients that are polluting much of the remaining usable water. Furthermore, the United Nations estimates that up to 90% of toxic wastewater in developing countries is sent untreated into rivers and open water bodies.

Agriculture and oil and gas are not the only source of contaminants threatening our water supply. Mining, industrial manufacturing, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals greatly add to the problem. Evidence of the enormous scope of contaminated water is supported by the fact that there are close to a hundred different wastewater treatment technologies.

If any of the traditional solutions were truly cost-effective at a scale capable of tackling these high volume needs, then there would be no problem. We would have ample clean and safe water for all our needs, but the simple truth is that not one of these traditional technologies works well enough to solve the entire problem. They are often too costly and they typically do not process adequate volumes in a short time frame.  With the high cost and lengthy time of current water treatment technologies, supply shortages and price increases for clean water seem inevitable.

The Global Water Intelligence reports that water is estimated to be a $360 billion-dollar industry and that fact helps explains why there are so many competing technologies. Just one tiny little sliver of $360 billion is a lot of money. Clearly, a technology that could cost-effectively decontaminate water from agriculture, oil and gas, industrial, and mining operations would be extremely valuable.

Biolargo’s Patented AOS Filter was recently validated in proof of concept testing at the University of Alberta. It was shown effective at dismantling recalcitrant contaminants (the most difficult and hard to manage) in seconds versus hours, and, further, it accomplished the task at 1/20th the power consumption of the nearest competitor, pointing to its future as a disruptive contender in just about every water industry segment.

Iodine is the broadest and most potent disinfectant known. BioLargo’s AOS Filter combines iodine with well-understood technologies like carbon filter media, ceramics or membrane technologies to extract contaminates from a water-flow. The BioLargo AOS Filter converts a traditional filter mechanism into a reactor by adding electricity and oxidizing chemistry across the surface area of the filter media.  The device delivers powerful oxidization to dismantle contaminants as they flow through the filter, all the while consuming an incredibly low level of energy. The device features high rates of oxidation, low power, high speed and a continuous flow. The dismantled contaminants are small enough in size that most of them pass through the filter without clogging. AOS therefore greatly extends the filter life.

The net result is expected to yield unparalleled cost effectiveness.

BioLargo’s AOS Filter is Well Positioned

University of Alberta has begun a pilot study to design and build a commercial version of BioLargo’s AOS Filter to prove scalability as well as optimize its functionality for use in the oil sands and across a host of other water treatment segments.

BioLargo recently announced it achieved another important milestone in the pilot testing of the device successfully replicating earlier proof of claim results and it confirmed the role of advanced oxidation within the AOS Filter reactor.  This recent pilot work included bench-scale testing of contaminated water taken from actual field operations and it has proven the AOS Filter’s effectiveness at dismantling and removing targeted naphthenic acids, which are considered high-value and hard to contain contaminants of keen interest to the oil sands industry for more than 15 years.

Professor Lynn McMullen at the Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science at the University of Alberta, recently agreed to expand the AOS Filter pilot testing into areas of interest in food processing and agricultural production, including livestock related areas. The initial targets include clean in place (CIP), carcass and food washing and animal drinking water applications.

BioLargo is a founding member of a research chair sponsored by NSERC, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, which organized in 2011 to solve the wastewater tailings ponds problem. Other founding members joining BioLargo include Suncor Energy, Syncrude Canada, Shell Canada, and Canadian Natural Resources, EPCOR, Environment Canada and Alberta Innovates.  

BioLargo’s CEO, Dennis Calvert commented, “Our business is very exciting and certainly dynamic. Our patented technology is right on the leading edge and our AOS Filter has recently opened up a huge commercial opportunity for BioLargo. Our company’s culture is entrepreneurial at heart and we thrive on the challenge and adventure to create, validate and commercialize our break-through technologies.  Our Chief Science Officer, Kenneth Reay Code continues to set the technical performance bar to the highest standards and his discipline has proven invaluable as we introduce new technology to industry and gain acceptance. Our team is comprised of an impressive list of associates that are both leaders and patent holders from the top ranks of industry.  Our future is quite bright.”

BioLargo’s mission is to make life better. It has the technology, the team, and the driving purpose to succeed. BioLargo is a platform technology company that expects to generate the bulk of is revenues through licensing its AOS Filter and other platform technologies it developed that have important application in water, healthcare, energy, and consumer products segments.

The AOS Filter is expected to have a powerful impact on all uses of water around the world.




Monday, 18 August 2014

BioLargo Enters Into Agreement to Bring Its Isan System to Market

As announced on August 18, 2014,  BioLargo, Inc. (OTCQB: BLGO) entered into a manufacturing and distribution license agreement for its Isan® system with Clarion Water, a new operating division of InsulTech Manufacturing, LLC (www.insultech.com), the latter of which has over 20 years of commercial success around the globe representing hundreds of millions in sales of technical products to Fortune 100 companies.

Owned in equal parts by BioLargo, Inc. and Peter Holdings, Ltd., the Isan system leverages the power of iodine to provide the world’s most effective disinfection dosing systems. It has been referred to as one of the most important technical advancements in food safety in the past 20 years. It won a ‘top 50 water company award’ by the Artemis Project in 2010 and a DuPont Innovation Award for its excellence in science and innovation in 2004.

Dennis Calvert, BioLargo's president, stated: "This represents a promising opportunity for BioLargo to bring one of our platform technologies to market. As we work on initiatives to commercialize several iodine-based technologies, it was important to us to find a partner with the manufacturing and distribution experience, capabilities and capital resources to fully realize the potential of the Isan system. The global applications for the Isan system are vast as industries all over the world seek a sustainable and cost-effective solution to disinfect water and control disease.”

Iodine is a powerful, broad-spectrum biocide that is a logical replacement for chlorine in applications involving irrigation supply and post-harvest sanitation.  Through its automated and precise dosing system, the Isan system can help increase the quality and shelf life of fruits, vegetables, and other produce, is effective against a host of bacteria and fungi, and helps producers conform to increasingly stringent food safety regulations such as the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), which addresses food safety through the analysis and control of raw material hazards.

“The Isan system has been validated through early stage commercialization and comprehensive testing conducted in Australia and New Zealand. Clarion intends to leverage this early work and focus initial commercialization efforts on the vast opportunities for the technology in improving plant quality and shelf life as well as explore additional opportunities for use in select industrial applications. We are excited to bring this technology into the market place through this licensing partnership,” concluded Calvert.

Tom Bercaw, President and Founder of Clarion Water commented, “We are excited about the significant opportunities for the Isan technology around the world. We conducted extensive market research to validate the high global demand for water disinfection systems with the performance and features of the Isan system.  The system features a green, environmentally friendly design focused on solving many of the critical issues faced by agriculture, industry, municipalities and others with regard to safe, effective and responsible water treatment. In addition, the Isan system has been proven to enhance food safety and HACCP compliance, which has been an ever increasing concern in the US and abroad. We believe the Isan system is a good fit for our talents, experience and market presence.”

Terms of Agreement
Per the terms of the agreement, Clarion receives the exclusive global manufacturing and distribution rights to the Isan system and use of all historical data to support its commercial focus. Clarion will pay BioLargo a patent maintenance fee of $25,000 per year paid quarterly in arrears, and royalties on revenue equal to 10% paid quarterly in arrears. There are no minimum royalty payments for the first two years, but at year three (beginning July 1, 2016) the minimum royalties are $50,000 per quarter, at year four $75,000 per quarter, and at year five and onward $100,000 per quarter. The intellectual property subject to the license agreement includes all intellectual property related to the Isan System, including all patents, trademarks, proprietary knowledge, and other similar know-how or rights relating to or arising out of the Isan System or the patents related to the Isan System. The agreement contains other terms and conditions typically found in intellectual property license agreements.

BioLargo and Peter Holdings received a royalty advance of $100,000 upon execution of a letter of intent in February of 2014, which will now be applied to royalties received during the first two years of the agreement. BioLargo retains certain marketing rights to help develop clients for Clarion.


Friday, 15 August 2014

Why Current Water Treatment Technology Can't Solve The Global Water Crisis


 The article and related disclosures are available at Seeking Alpha: http://seekingalpha.com/article/2424525-why-current-water-treatment-technology-cant-solve-the-global-water-crisis

 |  Includes: AWK, BLGO, DOW, GE, VE
 
Summary
  • GE, Veolia, Dow and American Water Works are selling billions in water treatment technology.
  • All their water treatment technologies work or they wouldn't be selling.
  • In spite of effective water treatment technologies, the global water crisis persists.
  • The problem is the high cost of current technologies, therefore the answer lies in lower cost.
  • Promising new ultra-low cost and highly effective water treatment technology recently revealed.
The global water crisis is enormous. Today there are over one billion people without clean water and the number is soaring as water shortages spread globally, including todeveloped nations like the United States.

If you are reading this article, you are fortunate that you are probably relatively insulated and unaware of the magnitude of this problem and most likely have not experienced the harsh reality of living without adequate clean water.

Insatiable global demand for potable water is fuelling big sales and high growth in the $360 billion water treatment industry. There are a large number of water treatment companies selling a large number of different water treatment technologies, yet our global population is still facing the most serious water shortage in history; and the quality of water even in developed nations is declining and posing serious health hazards.

A few leaders in water treatment are General Electric (NYSE:GE), Veolia (NYSE:VE), Dow Chemical (NYSE:DOW) and American Water Works (NYSE:AWK). A few examples of commonly used water treatment technologies are: Advanced Oxidation Process, Reverse Osmosis, Membrane Filtration, Ceramic Filtration, Ultrafiltration, Carbon Filtration and more.

If these technologies are being sold for billions of dollars they must work. If they work, why is there still such an enormous problem?

The answer is very simple and can be explained with just one word - "Cost"!

These technologies all work, but they simply cost too much. Demand for clean water may be "off the charts", but supply is unable to keep up because significant investment capital is required, and operational costs are high. An example of the high cost just for capital investment comes from the small community of Oceanside, California, where they are exploring replacement of an older water treatment facility that was built in 1949. Replacement today is estimated at close to $100 million. And that does not include the high cost of energy for operation and maintenance.

One example of the high cost of energy for operating water treatment is quoted from the American Council For An Energy Efficient Economy, "municipal water supply and wastewater treatment systems are among the most energy-intensive facilities owned and are operated by local governments, accounting for about 35% of energy used by municipalities."

It's logical that a more cost-effective solution is required to have any meaningful impact on the water crisis. Because they are the only options for solutions, current high-cost technologies will remain in big demand and will generate large sales, but they will not solve the lion's share of the problem. The fact that the magnitude of the unsolved problem is still so enormous; and that so many technologies are offered by so many companies; is a strong statement that they cannot solve the global water crisis.

The Global Water Picture Today
Eighty percent of infectious diseases are caused by contaminated water. Five million people die each year from lack of water or from contaminated water. One quarter of the world population has little or no clean water. By 2020, it is estimated that 76 million people will die from lack of water or from contaminated water.

China has 22% of the world's population, but only 7% of the world's fresh water.

Four hundred major cities in China have serious water shortages. Eighty-six percent of China's rivers exceed pollution standards.

Similar problems exist in Africa, India and the Middle East. Droughts combined with water pollution from agriculture, oil recovery, mining and industry are straining available fresh water in the United States, Europe and other developed nations and are constraining economic and social development worldwide.

Global Pollution Sources
Agriculture is the largest user of water swallowing up 70% of all available fresh water. Runoff water from agriculture is massive on a global scale and is known to pollute the groundwater, rivers and lakes with nitrates and pesticides. An example of what nitrates can do is the recent drinking water scare in Toledo, Ohio when it was discovered that nitrates were leaking into Lake Erie and causing toxic algae blooms to grow and contaminate the drinking water supply. Nitrate problems are expected to become widespread and more apparent as monitoring devices to measure for contaminants become more effective and in wider use.

The U.S Geological Survey Water Schoolclaims, "Before the mid-1970s, it was thought that soil acted as a protective filter that stopped pesticides from reaching groundwater. Studies have now shown that this is not the case. Pesticides can reach water-bearing aquifers below ground from applications onto crop fields, seepage of contaminated surface water, accidental spills and leaks, improper disposal, and even through injection waste material into wells."

Oil sands production creates the majority of oil but requires about four gallons of water to extract each gallon of oil from the sand. The wastewater, "produced water", from oil sands recovery becomes contaminated with toxins and is often stored in tailings ponds until a solution can be found to treat the water to safe standards. In Canada, there are over 170 square kilometres of "tailings ponds" containing about one billion gallons of wastewater. There have been reports of significant leakage from these tailings ponds back into the water supply raising concerns about safety. The large water requirements and produced wastewater are becoming serious constraints on oil sands production.

Fracking requires an average of 4.5 million gallons of water per well and there areseveral hundred thousand wells. The wastewater from fracking called "flowback", is toxic and is often injected back into deep disposal wells that are below the ground water table. According to an article in Scientific American, "Records from disparate corners of the United States show that wells drilled to bury this waste deep beneath the ground have repeatedly leaked, sending dangerous chemicals and waste gurgling to the surface or, on occasion, seeping into shallow aquifers that store a significant portion of the nation's drinking water." The difficulty obtaining the necessary water requirements and safely managing the toxic flowback wastewater are becoming serious constraints on fracking.

Mining operations require large amounts of water for recovering targeted minerals from ore and the wastewater tailings are also very toxic. Typically, these wastewater tailings are placed into tailings ponds where they remain for years with the potential to leak into the groundwater and rivers. Massive toxic spills into the water supply were recently reported in CanadaMexico, and West Virginia.
Electric power plants are one of the largest users of water, and depending on the nation, coal-fired power plants contribute anywhere from 41% to 93% of electricity worldwide.

Coal fired power plants have been under scrutiny for decades due to the heavy carbon emissions they release into the atmosphere. They are required to use air scrubbers to clean the air, but the water used to clean the scrubbers picks up the toxic contaminants and carries them to the water supply.

According to the NY Times, Coal fired power plants are the biggest producers of toxic waste. Every year, they release millions of pounds of pollutants, including toxic metals like arsenic, boron, mercury, cadmium, lead and selenium, into rivers, streams, and lakes.

Current Water Treatment Technologies In Use
GE offers a number of water treatment methods that produce 1.7 billion gallons of potable water every day. ZEEWEED ultrafiltration membrane technology for oil refineries allows them to reuse up to 95% of their water from recycling. GE's membrane water treatment recycles 100 million gallons of wastewater every day for agricultural irrigation. GE's "EDR" technology turns raw water into drinking water for metropolitan water systems. This video clip by GE explains their role in water treatment.

Referring to the high cost of operating any water treatment technology, Yuvbir Singh, General Manager engineered systems at GE Water and Process Technology, said, "Over the last couple of years we've been really focused on reducing energy consumption in out wastewater treatment systems, because on a lifecycle basis, that's a big part of operating cost for our customers." In spite of high investment and operating costs, demand for GE water treatment products is expected to remain very strong because the need is so great.

GE is a giant conglomerate with diverse interests across a broad spectrum of the economy and the water division is not expected to significantly impact the company's overall, revenues, profits and valuation.

Veolia is a world leader in delivering drinking water solutions to municipalities. Veolia uses basically the same technologies as their competitors to treat water with their Berkal, Actiflo, Multiflo, Spidflow, Filtraflo and membrane technologies. Veolia's Opaline membrane filters are used to remove pesticides, total organic carbon, endocrine disrupters, and micro-organisms. Veolia's water treatment technologies serve over 150 million people with technologies that are similar to the competition, therefore, capital and operating costs are running high. In spite of the high costs of their products, demand for Veolia water treatment is expected to remain very strong because the need is so great. Veolia's overall business is focused on the water treatment industry and therefore will experience substantial changes in revenues, profits and valuation from its activities in this industry.

Dow Chemical Water Division is estimated to treat 15 million gallons per minute. Dow's technologies include Reverse Osmosis, Ultra Filtration, Fine Particle Filtration, Ion Exchange, Adsorbent Resins, Bio Chromatography and Electro-Deionization. Dow also delivers Reverse Osmosis Filtration for Desalination. In spite of high operating costs for their water treatment technologies, demand for DOW water treatment products is expected to remain very strong because the need is so great.

Dow Chemical is a diversified chemical company with broad interests in many sectors of the economy. Because Dow is not focused on water treatment, the company is not expected to experience large variations in revenues, profits and valuation resulting from water equipment sales.

American Water Works offers water and wastewater services to approximately 1,500 communities in 16 states. It operates approximately 80 surface water treatment plants; 500 groundwater treatment plants; 1,000 groundwater wells; 100 wastewater treatment facilities; 1,200 treated water storage facilities; 1,300 pumping stations; 87 dams; and 47,000 miles of mains and collection pipes.
American Water Works offers traditional filtration systems that have no significant competitive advantage over the competition. High operating costs for their water treatment technologies will be a constraint on sales, but demand is expected to remain very strong because the need is so great.

American Water Works is focused on water treatment and is expected to experience significant changes in revenues, profits and valuations from water treatment sales.

Promising New Technology May Offer Solution
An exciting new technology surfaced recently when an emerging company, BioLargo, Inc. (OTCQB:BLGO) announced a breakthrough in water treatment. This short video clip demonstrates the AOS Filter (actually an electro-chemical reactor and filter) that has been validated by the University of Alberta and proven to decontaminate water from recalcitrant contaminants in seconds versus hours required by current technologies, and at only 1/20th the cost of the closest competing technology.

On January 21, 2014, BioLargo issued the press release: "BioLargo Successfully Concludes Proof of Concept and Progresses to Pilot Phase for Its Oil Sands Decontamination Project With University of Alberta"

On May 15, 2014 BioLargo issued a second press release: "BioLargo's Patented AOS Filter Receives Additional Validation for Use in Water Treatment" Dennis Calvert, BioLargo's president, stated: "BioLargo's AOS Filter has been shown to reduce total acid-extractable organics in water at a rate never before demonstrated commercially. Based on proof of claim there is a belief BioLargo may have the lowest cost sustainable solution for the oil sands process-affected water. Having tested our technology, the esteemed University of Alberta is entering the AOS Filter industrial pilot-scale-testing phase, which we expect to confirm its commercial viability to treat oil sands tailings ponds and then eliminate the need for them on a go forward basis. Oil sands are commonly considered one of the most difficult water contamination situations. As such, this pilot project is expected to provide the groundwork for additional water treatment applications, including refining, fracking, remediation, agriculture and industrial waste among others."

Cash is always a big issue with all microcaps and BioLargo is no different. The company reported that cash increased from $92,457 on December 31, 2013 to $373,373 on March 31, 2014. Current Assets increased from $126,146 on December 31, 2013 to $446,459 on March 31, 2014. Current Liabilities decreased from $732, 157 on December 31, 2014 to $508,652 on March 31, 2014. The number of shares outstanding increased from 71,357,532 on December 31, 2013 to 76,409,578 on March 31, 2014 indicating the company may have raised capital in that period.

The company has multiple profit centers and is not reliant on the AOS Filter and has already reported beginning sales with the U.S. government that could become significant.

Risk tolerant investors will find BioLargo attractive because they have the potential to offer a game-changing solution that is needed to help solve the enormous global water crisis. If they are successful, the rewards could be enormous.

Conclusion
The current water treatment technology offered today by the world's largest companies cannot solve the global water crisis because their technologies are not cost-effective. The global leaders of water treatment have all of the tools they need to deliver massive scale to meet the massive global needs, but their high capital investment and high operating cost is holding them back. The industry yearns for low cost solutions.

In spite of the high costs of their products, Veolia, and American Water works are strong buys because their technologies are the only ones available and serve the purpose well enough to sustain strong and fast growing sales in a world desperate for clean water. GE and DOW are large conglomerates that will benefit to a lesser degree, but are very sound financially. BioLargo is a compelling investment consideration for risk-tolerant investors because the newly announced AOS Filter has the potential to revolutionize the way wastewater is treated and reward investors with exceptional returns.

BioLargo's new AOS Filter technology may be able to solve the global water crisis to a much higher degree than today's technologies because it is so much cheaper and cost-effective.

Disclosure: The author has no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. The author wrote this article themselves, and it expresses their own opinions. The author is not receiving compensation for it. The author has no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.


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