BioLargo, Inc. (OTCQB:BLGO) invents, develops, and commercializes innovative platform technologies to solve challenging environmental problems like PFAS contamination, advanced water and wastewater treatment, industrial odor and VOC control, air quality control, and infection control.
Sunday, 9 November 2014
BioLargo's AOS Filter Wins "Technology Star Award" - New Technology Magazine -The First Word on Oil Patch Innovation
Advanced disinfectant technology developer sets sights on oil and gas applications
publicly-listed Santa Ana, Calif.–based company that is developing water
purification and advanced disinfectant technologies, all using some
form of iodine, sees one of its Edmonton-developed technologies as a way
to clean up and even eliminate oilsands mining tailings ponds.
technology you can reduce the footprint of and even eliminate tailings
ponds,” says Dennis Calvert, president and chief executive officer of
BioLargo Inc., which is listed on the OTC bulletin board [Symbol: BLGO] in the
small size, the company has secured 12 U.S. patents for its iodine-based
technologies and has another eight pending for what Calvert calls
multi-billion dollar business opportunities.
that might sound like hype, the company’s water purification and
disinfectant technology developed by Edmonton-based inventor Kenneth R.
Code, from whom BioLargo purchased the rights to the iodine-dosing
system concept in 2007 (he remains its chief science officer), is
expected to be piloted at an oilsands mining site in the next year or
The road to
commercial application of its Advanced Oxidation System (AOS) Filter
technology to treat water in oilsands tailings and in other water
treatment applications is well advanced. The company is a founding
member of a research chair launched about three years ago at the
University of Alberta (U of A) focused on evaluating technologies to
help solve contaminated water issues in the oilsands.
sponsored by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of
Canada, includes membership by such oilsands industry giants as Syncrude
Canada Ltd., Suncor Energy Ltd., Royal Dutch Shell plc and Canadian
Natural Resources Limited, along with Alberta Innovates and Environment
Canada. Calvert says laboratory tests of the AOS Filter at the U of A
led to significant validation of the technology in preparation for the
tailings pond field pilot test.
is also exploring many other opportunities for deploying its technology.
“The most rapid adoption is likely to be in the area of [treating and
disinfecting] industrial produced water,” he says. “Tailings ponds will
happen more slowly because of the scale.”
likely areas where the company’s iodine-based technologies will be
adopted are in the food processing and refining sectors, he says.
our technology is world-class,” says Calvert. He adds that the BioLargo
technology will eventually be deployed in developing nations, where the
quality of drinking water is an urgent health issue. “It could also end
up under the kitchen sink,” where the effectiveness of existing water
filtration systems could be accelerated using the company’s technology.
However, as a
small company with limited financial flexibility (it has raised $15
million in private equity), the company is concentrating on strategic
partnerships and on the speedy adoption of its technology in a variety
“We think of
ourselves as a platform technology company,” Calvert says. “We have a
number of initiatives that are starting to generate revenue. We’re
focused on selling the licence [for the technology] to established
To speed up
adoption and generate revenue, the company is working with other firms
involved in the pet care sector, since its technology can be used for
odour abatement, and in the medical sector, where iodine-based solutions
are used for advanced wound care.
Last year it
announced it had sold a version of its technology called Suction
Canister Solidifiers to the U.S. Army Medical Agency, where the product
will be used in triage and surgery during troop deployment. It had
previously sold a version of the technology that solidifies bodily
fluids and eliminates odours to a medical facility at Langley Air Force
design was developed by its Clyra Technology division, which has
developed super absorbent pads and wound dressings, woven and non-woven
wound dressings and other medical products, all of which have earned or
are awaiting U.S. patents. Although no dollar figures were announced
related to the arrangement, the product could now be deployed by all
U.S. military forces, representing a significant market, Calvert says.
mid-August the company announced it had entered into a manufacturing and
distribution licence deal for its Isan precision iodine dosing system
with Clarion Water, a new operating division of InsulTech Manufacturing
LLC, which has more than 20 years of commercial success worldwide in the
water disinfection sector.
Based on the
use of iodine, which Calvert calls “a powerful, broad-spectrum
biocide,” the Isan disinfection system is seen as “the logical
replacement for chlorine in applications involving irrigation supply and
post-harvest sanitation,” he says. It delivers iodine with exact
precision for fortification, or depending on the application, it can
take it back out.
initially concentrate on the agricultural sector. Clarion has already
marketed the Isan system in Australia and New Zealand and will now
market it worldwide. Under the licence agreement, BioLargo received a
$100,000 payment upfront and will earn a royalty on sales for the next
MAGIC OF IODINE
common to all the applications BioLargo is involved in. The chemical
element, the heaviest essential element used widely in biological
functions, has long been known as the broadest spectrum, most powerful
disinfectant known. Even NASA recognizes iodine’s unique qualities, the
company notes, using it as the only water disinfection process on all
manned space flights.
“All of the
work that we have done over the years is to advance our technology for
the use of iodine across a number of different market segments,” says
Filter technology, a new invention that has been developed by the
company in the last three years, deploys the power of iodine and
electrolysis using a kind of steady shower technology that
decontaminates and removes odours at one-twentieth the cost of existing
approaches, Calvert says. In addition, there is little power consumption
when the technology is deployed.
enhancing the performance of widely understood technologies,” says
Calvert. “In testing we validated that our AOS Filter was able to
dismantle and remove [contaminants] in seconds versus hours [with other
explains how the technology works. “What we have done is we have taken
an oxidizer, iodine, and we have combined it with well-understood
technologies like carbon, filter media, ceramics or membrane
technologies, and when we combine those components, we can extract
contaminants from the water flow. What is unique about the invention is
that we have combined traditional filter media with an oxidizing
technology and electricity, which then allows the device to provide an
oxidation potential across the surface area of the filter media at an
incredibly effective rate.
means basically is we have taken a filter, and we have converted it into
a reactor, so we can then operate at very high flow rates and at
incredibly low levels of energy. So the device features high rates of
oxidation, low power consumption, high speed and continuous flow.”
OIL AND GAS FIX
oilsands sector, contaminants such as naphthenic acid and bacteria must
be dealt with in water treatment. In addition, there are such
hard-to-treat contaminants as acids, ammonias, solvents and dioxane.
Many of the
same contaminants are common in other oil and gas processes, such as
hydraulic fracturing. BioLargo’s technology could be used to treat
recycled water in many areas of the oil and gas industry.
At the U of
A, the tests were conducted on contaminated water taken from oilsands
tailings, “and the work has proven our effectiveness of dismantling and
removing targeted naphthenic acids,” he says.
It now costs
an estimated $2.50–$3 per barrel to treat contaminated water in the
oilsands mining sector, according to Calvert. “We can do it for a
fraction of the cost.”
suite of technologies has attracted some respected executives to the
company. Harry DeLonge, now a senior adviser at the company, was
formerly a vice-president of manufacturing technologies with beverage
and snack food giant Pepsi-Cola International. Vikram Rao, another
senior adviser, spent 30 years with oilfield service giant Halliburton
Company, most recently serving as its senior vice-president, senior
strategy adviser and chief technology officer.
Rhodes, a former vice-president of innovation and wound management with
pharmaceutical industry giant Smith & Nephew Wound Management, is a
senior adviser with BioLargo’s Clyra Medical division.
the company’s motto is “We make life better,” reflecting the importance
of clean water [food safety & wound healing) to humanity. “We think it’s our right to have clean
drinking water, but the investment is so high [to achieve that goal]
that it isn’t feasible. But we bring an economically viable technology
to the table at a fraction of the cost of other approaches.”
Cudmore, who heads Grande Prairie, Alta.–based water logistics company
White Water Management Ltd., is so impressed with BioLargo’s technology
he wants to get in touch with the company to try it out in the oil and
gas production areas where his company works, in northwestern Alberta
and northeastern British Columbia.
looking at iodine-based electrolysis technology,” says Cudmore,
president of the five-year-old company. “We’re trying to figure out what
the best technology is. I’d like to reach out to them.”
which supplies water for hydraulic fracturing and other oil and gas
uses and also works on water issues in the forestry sector, regularly
assesses different approaches to water treatment and recycling. Cudmore
says iodine-based treatments make sense. “It [will] be a multi-million
dollar technology,” if it works as promoted, he says.
the technology will reduce the salinity in treated water, which is a
major issue. But after having investigated various approaches to
treating water, he says he is impressed with BioLargo’s approach.
will only grow as an issue in northern Alberta and northern British
Columbia, Cudmore says, and BioLargo’s technology has a huge potential
market in the oil and gas industry and other sectors if it works “as it
appears,” he says.
which sets up large water storage tanks and pumps water from as far as
24 kilometres away for fracking jobs and treats grey water from Alberta
municipalities such as Fox Creek, Rocky Mountain House and Edson for use
in fracking, would definitely use BioLargo’s approach if it is as
effective as the company suggests.