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Re: Oil Extraction

PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 1:09 am
by sonomechanics
We have experimented a little with ultrasonic extraction of algae oil. Here are a couple of videos: ... re=related
We have not studied the results systematically but would like to. The oil definitely comes out: when the process is run in water followed by filtration, a stable emulsion is formed (not very practical, but visual). We are now thinking of trying to extract right into the methanol/sodium hydroxide mix, this way the ultrasonically mediated transesterification should take place simultaneously. Any thoughts?

Re: Oil Extraction

PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 12:40 pm
by Sagaa
Hi all,
Does anyone know the cost effective method of oil extraction?

Re: Oil Extraction

PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 3:55 pm
by poorani
Hi all,

I have read about the extraction of oil from algae using Brine Shrimp. The brine shrimp can eat the algae and convert it into a consistent, high quality protein and oil. Then, they separate the proteins from the oils and have what was unreachable at one point in time.

Re: Oil Extraction

PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 7:57 am
by katinpuyallup
I'm just growing my first algae. I am considering a couple different extraction methods. My over riding principal is to grow and extract using the least amount of scientific interference or expense. I have also concidered freezing as an extraction method. A slow freeze followed by a fast thaw should shatter the cell walls.

Re: Oil Extraction

PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 6:19 am
by jdr007
UGAbiofuel wrote:hey, Im a masters student at UGA and my research topic for the next two years is the seperation of the algal biomass from the water and extraction of oil. I am also looking into supersonic extraction of oil and cost effective methods of seperation at a large industiral scale. Ill keep you updated on my progress!


How has your research been coming? I am a undergraduate student at the University of Arkansas starting research on the separation of lipids and oils from algae biomass. I am running into a lot of problems with the extraction process. I have looked into hexane extraction and have ran a few test runs with little success. my percent recovery by mass is only about 1% (Dry weight basis).
Please send me any information that you have gathered about the subject and any data that you would be willing to share to help describe your extraction process.
The only thing i can not look at is super critical CO2 extraction. We do not have the capital to look in that direction.

Please email me what info you can at:


Re: Oil Extraction

PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2009 8:22 pm
by DR Johansen
jdr007 wrote: The only thing i can not look at is super critical CO2 extraction. We do not have the capital to look in that direction.

Please don't assume SC CO2 is beyond your reach. These folks have some laboratory level equipment they may let a college have for a reduced cost, maybe even free. I can't help but think that SC CO2 will prove the best way to go in the final analysis.

Re: Oil Extraction

PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 5:53 am
by katspj
Has anyone found any reports or papers proving how much oil is in algae?

I am processing the algae to break down cells and then I use a solvent to extract the oil. After distilling the solvent at the required temperature I perform a mass balance to ensure all the solvent has been removed. The mass balance confirms the oil extracted still consists of 60 - 80% solvent.

I have not found any reports with actual figures although articles everywhere say algae is proven to have more oil than other bio fuel species. Please can anyone point me to this "proof"?

Re: Oil Extraction

PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 10:40 pm
by BioFrenzy
Hi all,

I have been looking around the internet to check in on some trends and had come across your thread.

In short, I am a Cost Accountant for XXXXXX Biosciences which grows, extracts, and refines algae for multiple applications. There are certain things that I can not disclose, but I will do my best to help out.

For the question, what is the most cost effective means of extraction.
A friolex based extraction in short is the most cost effective. Where the Broth is introduced to a chemical in which the cell wall bursts mearly from the chemical. My question for you is where are you getting you algae from? If you are banking on ocean based and harvesting it from tides ect, you will need to find the oil content within the cells. Next you will need to consider the amount of oil you are able to recover from the cells (you WILL NOT be able to recover more than 90%) please consider that there are many companies in this scene, each trying to find the bug that keeps on growing. We for instance have over 15,000 bugs and the worlds leading fermentation experts...Granted that we are FDA regulated plays into higher costs that I view, but overall I do not think that we (the world community) are not to far away from developing lower extraction costs.

Back to the 60-70% solvent problem, you will need to run this through a sting of evaporators.

Sweet concept on the brine shrimp...!

regarding % recovery you have a long way to go with that number... Also, when you consider recovery % it is not based on biomass to crude/finished oils... You need to have an HEL% or the % of oil in the cells(avg) then after the extraction, measure the potency again, multiplying against the total quantity biomass and crude respectivly and your good.

I plan on using a centrifuge on my oil after I separate it. I have done about 20 hours of research on the subject of extraction and it's really hard to find anything on the subject.
- You need a decantor centrifuge, you are dealing with three biproducts of extraction, Biomass, oil, water. The centrifuge will create oil water mixture with much less recovery due to looses of product going out the door with your biomass lets say 5-8% oil(burn it and you have a biofuel(biomass) power plant, :o did I say that)

Hopes this helps guys.

I may be an accountant but I really love this stuff! I plan on keeping around the forums so I will see everyone around!

Re: Oil Extraction

PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 12:34 am
by BioFrenzy
Oil content- anywhere from 38% to 43% in the biomass before factoring the recovery loss from downstream extraction campaigns.

Re: Oil Extraction

PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 2:07 am
by BioFrenzy
It is a sparkling filter press. It is not the press cost (which isnt that bad if you get it used) that you should be worrying about, there are layers upon layers that neeed to be replaced each cycle that can become costly.
here is a pic