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Microalgae to biodiesel in a pressure cooker 12

Rea searchers from America claim that microalgae can be heated in a pressure cooker.The pressure-cooker method the U-M researchers are studying bucks the trend in algae-to-fuel processing.

The conventional technique involves cultivating special, oily types of algae, drying the algae and then extracting its oil.

The hydrothermal process this project employs allows researchers to start with less-oily types of algae.

The process also eliminates the need to dry it, overcoming two major barriers to large-scale conversion of microalgae to liquid fuels.

The researchers state that they first make an algae soup, heat it to about 300 degree and keep the water at high pressure, it is then cooked for about 30 mins to get a crude bio-oil.

The principle behind this is quite simple, the algae utilises the high temperature and pressure, react with the water and break down. The proteins and carbohydrates also get decomposed in addition to the bio-oil.

Not only does the native oil get released, but proteins and carbohydrates also decompose and add to the fuel yield.

The challenges faced by this method is the removing the tar that pops out of the pressure cooker. All that has to be done is to change the property of the tar so that it flows easily. however, a cost-effective way is being researched upon.

Investigation is going on to find ways to use catalysts to reduce the density of the resulting bio-oil and also to further reduce its sulfur and nitrogen content.

Moreover, they're examining the process from a life-cycle perspective, seeking to recycle waste products to grow new source material for future fuel batches.

For all those of the scientific bent - http://news.oneindia.in/2010/04/23/newpressure-cooking-technique-converts-algae-intoc.html
Tue May 04 2010 10:30:29 AM by Sumukhi Biofuel  |  biorenergy  |  algae  |  biodiesel 1865 views

Comments - 3

  • Power1921 wrote:
    Wed August 04 2010 06:12:15 AM

    amazing article...thanks for posting this..

    Vote Up! 0 Vote Down! 0

  • Power1921 wrote:
    Wed August 04 2010 06:15:58 AM

    what exactly is the tar made of?depending on that,we can recycle it or may be use it for something else..

    Vote Up! 2 Vote Down! 0

  • Tue May 15 2012 07:20:47 AM

    It is really a good idea to use pressure cookers for small scale fuel extraction. But, how is it possible in large scale basis?

    Vote Up! 0 Vote Down! 0

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