LOS ANGELES -- OriginOil has signed a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy's Idaho National Laboratory.

The multi-phase research program will focus on validation and commercial scaling of the company's technology in the production of algae-based fuels by using the state-of-the-art equipment, capabilities, scientists and engineers of the INL. The initial phase, which starts immediately, will focus on the collaborative development of an energy balance model for photobioreactor-based algae systems. OriginOil expects to use this model in the optimization of its algae-to-oil technology as early as the 1st Quarter of 2009. Subsequent phases will center on validation of the OriginOil processes and piloting specific commercial applications.

Thomas H. Ulrich, advisory scientist for INL's Biofuels and Renewable Energy department, said: "INL has been tasked with the key National Security mandate of developing advanced renewable energy technology. Our primary challenge is cost-effective and scalable industrial processes and our partnership with OriginOil will help us find solutions to this challenge in the promising area of algae-to-oil technology. Partnerships with innovators like OriginOil will accelerate our pursuit of national energy independence initiatives."

Vikram M. Pattarkine, OriginOil's chief technology officer, said, "Because algae represents such promise, we have been presented with numerous opportunities for partnerships in the public and private sector in the US and abroad. We decided to begin with INL because it would be very productive across all of our initiatives."

In operation since 1949, the Idaho National Laboratory is a science-based, applied engineering national laboratory dedicated to supporting the Department of Energy on energy research and national defense. Its mission is to ensure the nation's energy security with safe, competitive and sustainable energy systems and unique national and homeland security capabilities.

With more than 300 scientists and engineers, INL's Energy, Environment Science & Technology Directorate integrates nuclear energy research and its unconventional application with other bio and fossil energy systems, advances renewable energy technologies and develops alternative energy sources and transportation fuels.

OriginOil, Inc. is developing a breakthrough technology that will transform algae, the most promising source of renewable oil, into a true competitor to petroleum.

SOURCE: OriginOil Inc. via Business Wire.