How to Make Biodiesel Out of Algae 43Algae's high-yield, low-price production value makes it a practical solution in the search for green energy. This perhaps unlikely alternative to food crop fuels like soybean and corn oil requires nothing more than a reflective pond or tank to cultivate. While the extraction process can be complicated and costly, algae crops yield up to 30 times more energy per acre than food crops, according to the US Department of Energy (DOE).
- Decide what type of algae you will grow. Choose a species with high levels of chlorophyll and a high percentage of oil yields. Most algae used for oil production already possess these qualities, since they are the most powerful and practical algae for this purpose. Your growing environment and chosen method will also be deciding factors in the strain of algae you choose. Some algae grow well in hot, shallow ponds, called photobioreactors, which work well in the heat of the desert. Other algae, like cryophytic algae, grow in cold, icy conditions.
- Cultivate the algae in your chosen aerial, aquatic or marine device, depending on the location. It is possible to cultivate algae in almost any environment. You can even extract algae for oil from sewage using a sewage treatment facility.
- Harvest up to 90 percent of the algae with each harvest. Algae duplicate every 24 hours, so your crop will be ready to harvest again soon. The waste liquor that comes as a byproduct of the harvesting process can be processed further to recover valuable material.
- Extract the oil from the algae through one of the many available extraction processes. Use enzymes as a solvent through enzymatic extraction; utilize an ultrasonic reactor to break down the cell walls, or extract the oil through osmosis, using osmotic shock. Most methods of extraction are expensive and require advanced machinery.
- Distill the extracted oil to remove any bits of useable algae. The final product is triglyceride, which must be put through a biodiesel processor to make biodiesel; or use it directly in most diesel engines. The byproduct is leftover algae proteins. Through extrusion and dewatering processes, you can extract these healthy proteins to be used as healthy ingredients in animal and human foods.
Mon January 10 2011 07:34:29 AM by Karthi 4055 viewsLogin to Post a Comment