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what is the first step to produce algal oil? what strains of algae should i use for the same?

How to extract algal oil at low cost ? mechanical extraction or chemical extraction? if only i can produce a little bit of oil for testing purpose then only i can raise funds from my instituition so to start with whatever limited funds that i could adjust what is the way to go about? chemical extraction ?


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4 Answers

  1. advancedalgaetech 6 years ago #

    Hello Streetthumbia,
    Your problem is a simple one if i may offer a suggestion, oil extraction from Algae can be achieved in small batches by using a hand held untrasonic agitator, , you need to shatter the membrane wall to release the oil, the oil can be extracted partially by centrufiging to 60 g'g . If a centrifuge is not available then for a small batch hexane will release the oil , evaporate and condense the hexane and bingo you have a small amount of oil.
    To raise funds you need to demonstrate the simplicity of growing and harvesting algae, to do this for a demonstration to your funders try this. Choose a robust algal species, Chlorella Vulgaris is as good as any to start with. Make up a simple media from commercial soluble fertilisers, the type that are used to water pot plants NPK 23-7-6 mix it at 2000ppm and make up a batch of say 500 litres.
    mix the sample chlorella into 250mls of media amd expose the sample to flouresent light 24 hours a day for the first 3 days. Then add 500 mls of your bulk media another 48 hours of light.
    Next add 505 of the volume every day as new media and expose to 12 hrs of light and 12 dark keep adding 50 % until you have a 500 litre batch (about 3 weeks)
    Obtain some 2 micron filter paper or cloth and use gravity to separate the algae from your batch. if you have done it correctly you should have a minimum of 3 grams of algae per litre. 500 litres will give you 1.5 litres of algal mass, Chlorella will give up at least 25% algal oil. I hope this helps. Kevin Murphy

  2. donmichael 6 years ago #

    You could just throw the culture it in a blender add 50% more water, then let gravity do the work of separation. Or look into "nano farming" particles from "Catlin". These particles will "milk" the lipids from the algae while its still alive. this will facilitate continuous live extraction which if youre going to be a comercial alage grower you will need to have. I don't think a batch of these particles are that expensive. breaking the cell walls and killing the algae can be done in various methods and that is good for batch processing but not for continuous processing. To achieve peak efficiency for oil extraction you must not kill the algae because killing algae leaves a biproduct of dead biomass that must either be converted to other products (which is good for certain applications) or be fed back into the bioreactor to become new biomass. Growing new algae is more energy intensive than just letting mature algae regrow more oil. Imagine giving a fat person lyposuction and then telling them to go get fat again versus taking a baby and raising it to become fat. Which method do yout think would yeild more oil over time? Once you have a method for continuous live oil extraction then you can alter the conditions to get the algae to produce more oil. One way is to grow algae in the sunlight with a high carbon intake and then once it reaches maturity it can be grown without sunlight with a high nitrogen intake. Starving the algae of sunlight will force them to increase the oil percentage of their mass while producing hydrogen instead of oxygen which is produced from carbon fixation. A two part system that combines both growing methods would be ideal.

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  3. jayachandru 6 years ago #

    Dear Donmichael,
    I want to know more about "nano farming particles", What is the chemical name of that particle, Where i can get that particle, So You please elaborate some more about nano farming particle..
    It is very useful to me since i'm working on the algae biodiesel...

    Thank you in advance,

  4. donmichael 6 years ago #

    Sure, all you need to so is Google nano farming algae. The company is called Catilin and they also haveca good catalyst for converting the oil into B100 with a coproduct of high grade glycol which I found can be used as feed for the algae when sun light isn't available. It the glycol can also be processed into a butanol additive when fermented by Clostrudium. There are other methods to "milking" the oil out of algae just as there are methods for milking sugars that can be made into butanol, ethanol or any other line of alcohol. Algenol has a method for milking ethanol straight out of the algae as well. I'm wondering what the methods are for milking proteins for continuous food harvesting because to be honest, the only way I see algae as being marketable is through these methods for live continuous harvesting.

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