The focus on green energy found a rather large boost in 2008 as petroleum prices surged and a green president was elected. The overall reality of the green investment, however, is that it is still an infant trying to solve issues and meet production and cost requirements. Solar is quickly catching up to electrical plant production on cost/watt, as is wind. Bio-fuels are also making huge leaps against petroleum depending on the day. But until cost and quantity can match fossil fuels now and in the future, they will always remain in the development stage. Those green companies that can meet production and cost demands, however, will become the investments to be involved with. They may not be there yet, but they are the ones to watch if an investor can find them.

OriginOil Inc., a development stage biofuel conversion equipment company, works to develop equipment for the conversion of algae to algae oil based products. The company's main target markets are those manufacturers and companies interested in producing refined fuels, integrated plastics, solvents, alcohol based fuels and animal feedcake.

The company ended 2008 with a very large step forward in the commercialization of its algae to algae oil process. The process of converting algae to algae oil in-of-itself has been known of for some time. However, making the process efficient enough to warrant commercial production has not. The company, through many years of effort, has apparently crossed the commercialization line with a new type of bio-reactor that allows the process to be more scalable and automated.

Its Helix Bioreactor â„¢ uses low-energy lights in a helix pattern to allow for a more efficient replication of algae in a smaller, more economical footprint. In past incarnations, larger arrays of the process made for a rather inefficient solar adaptation. The new process will enable the company to control each step in the process to produce larger quantities, at tighter parameters, for stable output and quality control.

Since the company's business plan has little to do with actually producing the algae oil product and more to do with licensing the product to those with the need and desire to manufacture the end-product, it needs to have its licensees' needs and wants in mind. Modularization and automation appear to be the largest factors involved as companies address need, quality, cost, capacity, location and expansion issues. As the company has apparently solved the first step in the automated cracking process, it will likely be making further strides to reduce overall modular size and efficiencies.

What makes OriginOil' Helix Bioreactor breakthrough so interesting, from an investment opportunity point of view, is that the company has only been listed since June 2007. Its capital expenditures and relatively low debt, for a process as far along as it is, makes the company's future opportunities intriguing. The US Government has slated 2022 as a target date for second generation bio-fuels. OriginOil appears to be ahead of the curve in this regard and ready to profit in this green game.