South Australia based Muradel Pty Ltd produces drop- in fuel from halophytic microalgae. Its trademark process produces “green crude” which upon fractionation yields drop-in substitutes of fossil fuels. The company was founded in Dec 2010 as a joint venture between the Murdoch University, Adelaide Research and Innovation Pty Ltd and SQC Pty Ltd.
Muradel uses rapidly growing halophytic microalgae, biomass and organic waste streams. Their non competence with arable land and food chain as well as their low fresh water requirements make them environmental friendly. Microalgae makes a great feedstock in Australian climate as sunshine, carbon dioxide and marginal land are in abundance in this country.
Muradel’s five step Green2BlackTM process produces “green crude” which is a fossil fuel equivalent.
Primary Production The microalgae are grown in a mixed pond of saltwater, to witch nutrients and carbon dioxide are added to promote algae growth.
Harvesting and Concentration The resulting microalgae is continuously harvested and concentrated into micro algal biomass through electroflocculation method. It is further dewatered to get a thick but flowable slurry.
Conversion to Hydrocarbons In this step the slurry undergoes hydrothermal liquefaction in a sub critical water reactor (SCWR). The output of the reactor is called “Kerogen”.
Extraction Muradel’s “Purpose built systems” extract hydrocarbons from Kerogen. The extract is called green crude. Despite it is called ‘green’ it is just as black as conventional crude oil.
Fractionation With the help of Muradel’s Off -the -Shelf technology, green crude is fractioned into the normal range of infrastructure and engine compatible finished fuel. The resultant fuel is drop-in in nature and thereby does not require infrastructural changes.
Muradel’s Demonstration Plant
This 30,000 litres of crude oil a year demonstration facility became operational in October 2014. The plant is located in Whyalla. Its coastal location makes it a suitable place for micro algae production and green crude manufacturing. The harvesting and conversion processes produce next to no waste as Muradel recycles water, nutrients and carbon dioxide back into the microalgae production ponds.