Oilgae Comprehensive Report

Extract Oil from Algae??

All aspects of extraction of oil from algae are discussed

Extract Oil from Algae??

Postby WVOuser » Sat May 30, 2009 5:58 am

I am not into using chemicals, so can a centrifuge like the Dieselcraft be used to extract oil? Has anyone tried it with success??

How about using a press?? Anyone with experience using a press?
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Re: Extract Oil from Algae??

Postby DR Johansen » Sat May 30, 2009 7:07 am

WVOuser wrote:I am not into using chemicals, so can a centrifuge like the Dieselcraft be used to extract oil? Has anyone tried it with success??

How about using a press?? Anyone with experience using a press?
Water is a chemical. CO2 is a chemical. Methanol is a chemical. Just how anti-chemical are you? If you could boil it out with water, would that be ok? How bout converting it internally into diesel with methanol which might be easily extracted. Would that be ok? If you extracted it with supercritical CO2 and then fully recycled the CO2, is that ok?

The problem generally is getting the oil through a very tough cell wall that doesn't want to allow it through. If you disrupt the cell wall and release the grease, then centrifuging would probably be a simple way of separating it from the water that would also be released.

Supercritical CO2 is a VERY good solvent. It will dissolve the lipids within the cells and allow them to pass thru the wall. Releasing the pressure just slightly converts the CO2 into a gas which immediately expresses the oil that had been dissolved. I suspect that the capital cost of a SC CO2 unit would be about the same as a high end centrifuge, which might not work anyway.

As you can tell, I think SC CO2 should be tried out.
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Re: Extract Oil from Algae??

Postby WVOuser » Wed Jun 03, 2009 2:42 am

I do not like using harmful chemicals that are cancer causing. C02 would be fine, but how do I use it to break the walls?
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Re: Extract Oil from Algae??

Postby DR Johansen » Wed Jun 03, 2009 11:03 pm

That is sort of the point. When you use mechanical means to "extract" oil, you need to first disrupt the walls. When using solvents, I am not sure you do. SC CO2 has been used to reduce the fat content of peanuts by extracting the oil from the outer half of a typical kernal without messing the appearance or taste... much. If you bit a nut in two, you could see a lighter colored ring on the outside part where the oil had been extracted.

I THINK that using this method would allow you to disolve the oil right out of the cell.
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Re: Extract Oil from Algae??

Postby WVOuser » Thu Jun 04, 2009 9:13 am

What is SC C02?? Where and how can I produce it?? Has anyone used it????
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Re: Extract Oil from Algae??

Postby DR Johansen » Thu Jun 04, 2009 6:46 pm

Sorry, higher in the thread I used the term "Supercritical CO2" and transitioned into SC CO2 because I'm lazy and don't like to have to type "supercritical" all the time.

This is a pretty good artical about it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supercritical_carbon_dioxide

As far as I know, no-one has actually tried it for algae oil extraction but I keep trying. Maybe I have succeeded and the folks who tried it have kept it secret to maintain a commercial edge.

Several drycleaning chains use liquid CO2 at just shy of the supercritical conditions as their cleaning fluid. They could drive them TO SC if they chose to. At least one dry cleaning machine manufacturer provides specs that show the safety factors would permit this with a significant remaining safety factor.

Good luck.
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Re: Extract Oil from Algae??

Postby hogg » Sat Jun 13, 2009 1:19 am

In a post on this forum, one exasperated Chemist made a point of saying something to the effect that extracting the oil from the lipids would best be done by finding a local Meth Cooker.
You can imagine the height of the interest at the coffee shop when I told folks I needed to make the aquaintence of a Meth Cooker. :oops:
I wonder...how do you know when you have succesfully seperated the little Capsul from the oil?
Is there a test to identify the percentage of burnable oil from the Encapsulated oil?
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