Im currently working on a research project about algae growth and I need to extract algae oil from the algae in order to calculate the percentage of oil in a certain species of algae. The chemical extraction methods on this site seems the most promising for my small scale experiments, especially the hexane extraction methods. From my research hexane is a nonpolar solvent which would explain it being good for oil extraction. I was wondering if Acetone would yield comparable results since it is a solvent, but it has a net dipole. Would this dipole make it suitable for extracting the nonpolar oil or should I stay away from acetone?
No not all lipids are neutral. Lipids that act in the membrane of cells are polar ( like soap) the reason why the oil precurser is neutral is because they are long carbon chains. But besides lipids there is alot of other compounds inside cells that are either polar or nonpolar. If you want to do an extraction with a mixture of different solvents you will extract polar and nonpolar compounds. Besides this the other reason you wouldnt want to do this is because you dont get a perfect 2 phase system (depending on the solvents used) due to solubility of the solvents in water and/or with each other.