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Oil Extraction

PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 11:32 am
by No Regrets
I am undergoing an experiment in which I'm growing algae to extract the oil in two different ways to see which is most efficient and cost effective to replace running waste vegetable oil in my truck.

Personal preferences have prompted me to chose the expeller/press and ultrasonic-assisted extraction methods. I chose these because mainly no chemicals are needed, also any energy required to extract can be aquired through solar energy. This makes production cost efficient.

I have around three months before I presume my first batch will be ready, which gives me three months to build both of the extractors. I need advice on where to get ultrasonic equipment, I can handle a press.

A press is not efficient in large quantities of oil, since the algae must be dried first. If ultrasonic extraction works efficiently for me, I'm going to convert my small scale algae bioreactor to an experimental 5 acre facility which could produce up to 100,000 gallons of oil for Houston biodiesel corporations. If that works I have enough land to expand to a 75 acre facility. My goal currently is to produce enough to drive on, since I'm just now a freshman in college I don't have the Capitol to even dare competing with the large algae companies. I'll post pics of my setup later, anyone have any advice?

Re: Oil Extraction

PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 5:08 am
by johnnyboy
cool, keep us updated yea.

i was wondering if you'd be interedted in experimenting? i want to try freezing a batch of algae before it gets dried to see if that breaks the cell walls down enough to get higher oil yeild when pressed?

just an idea, i'm a little ways from getting set up and i've just been hanging to see the difference, if any.

cheers

Re: Oil Extraction

PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 8:42 am
by No Regrets
I'll do that with the second batch I get, freezing the cells would not be feasible for me since I live around Houston. But it seems like a plausible extraction method up north, so I'll post up the results when I get them.

Re: Oil Extraction

PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 5:04 am
by David Gair
I burn all kinds of biodiesel in my diesel vehicles: algae, palm, olive and jatropha oil. I have a press that extracts it all. For algae, you must extrude the feedstock first, then run it through the press a second time to extract the oil.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sayVVG0joQU&feature=user

I always burn 90% straight plant oil mixed with 10% ethyl alcohol. My fuel economy is better than diesel and I've had no mechanical problems.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zbyVNUJLJn4&feature=related

By the way, I also sell the press.

Re: Oil Extraction

PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 11:03 am
by No Regrets
What do you mean by extrude the feedstock first? I don't actually know what feedstock is or how to remove it. Any help in the subject is greatly appreciated.

Dealing with the press I would love to talk to you about this. I can never afford to spend much money on anything since I spend it all on designing and building ideas and on surfing. My use of veggie oil was more of a forced change instead of a choice because I couldn't afford to surf due to diesel prices. Contact me at third.coast.worshiper@gmail.com about the press.

Re: Oil Extraction

PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 6:36 pm
by Howard
David Gair wrote:I burn all kinds of biodiesel in my diesel vehicles: algae, palm, olive and jatropha oil. I have a press that extracts it all. For algae, you must extrude the feedstock first, then run it through the press a second time to extract the oil.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sayVVG0joQU&feature=user

I always burn 90% straight plant oil mixed with 10% ethyl alcohol. My fuel economy is better than diesel and I've had no mechanical problems.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zbyVNUJLJn4&feature=related

By the way, I also sell the press.


David:

Thanks for the info on the palm oil. I've long heard of the stuff, but didn't know how it grew or was harvested. We have some palm trees in this part of the world, but they are made of plastic. :roll:

Do you have pictures of your press and/or a YouTube video of it in action? How much does the press cost and what quantities will it produce?

I understand the reasons for dumping oil in a tank and driving off....demonstrates that it works, BUT.....hardly anybody believes what the see anymore. You place total faith in what you see, then find it was a hoax. Chinese run Olympics sound familiar? Not saying this video did, just that folks have, so it creates skeptics.

What I would like to see, and have not, is some type of controlled, verified test, using something simple like a diesel powered electric generator or small diesel tractor hooked to a dynamo, where measured HP from a known quantity of fuel can be measured. Are all fuels the same? Do some perform better than others? What it gets down to is BTU per unit of volume and cost per BTU.

I think an issue, at least in the midwest, for using pure VO relates to temperature. It gels or turns solid in the winter. They can make BioD from beef suet, but straight suet itself is still a solid at 90 degrees plus. Goes beyond the vehicle, to storage systems and refueling at low temps. Biodiesel has a lower gel temp than most vegetable oils so in temperate climates, it extends the use to year round.

And good to see fresh faces showing up. You guys are offering good information....something I don't have.

Howard

Re: Oil Extraction

PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 9:20 pm
by UGAbiofuel
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!

Re: Oil Extraction

PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 9:16 pm
by njsurfer
Curious if anyone has looked into other mechanical disruption methods? IE microfluidization, homogenization, rotor stator, bead mill etc?

Also curious if anyone has looked at the purity of the oil from the separation techniques mentioned? If purity is low, why not look into centrifuges (disk stack), tangential flow filtration, hollow fiber to increase purity?

Re: Oil Extraction

PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 11:02 pm
by No Regrets
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.

Re: Oil Extraction

PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 1:16 am
by DR Johansen
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!

As a student, you may have access to a supercritical CO2 extraction machine. I sure would be interesting in finding out if that process works on wet algae. It should, and should be relatively low cost except for the capital expenses. If you can do it, I think that would be worth a PhD!