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Pressure-Cooking Algae into Better Biofuel 2

Researchers at the University of Michigan are examining a method to pressure-cook algae at 300 degrees for 30 minutes, and thereby break down oils, proteins and carbohydrates into a crude bio-oil, which can be converted into fuel.

The high temperature and pressure allow the algae to react with the water and break down to release the native oil. Apart from oil, the proteins and carbohydrates also decompose and increase the fuel yield.

The hydrothermal process has two advantages over the large-scale algae-to-oil conversion techniques:
1.The method can be used to extract bio-oil from algae which contain less oil content.
2.It eliminates the drying process

The project was funded with $2 million from the National Science Foundation under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and is aimed at producing acceptable fuel yields from low-oil content algae strains, as well as eliminating the need for water extraction in algal fuel production.
Thu April 22 2010 03:38:51 AM by Mathumitha Algae - Oil Extraction  |  Algae oil 1847 views

Comments - 2

  • James wrote:
    Mon April 26 2010 10:25:23 AM

    Seems interesting... But, won't it require a high amount of energy?

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  • Minakshi wrote:
    Tue April 27 2010 04:50:59 AM

    Really facinating. But the oil extracted will further need to convert into petrolium oil to be used as fuel in engines. Second doubt that comes in mind is that can the algal oil be edible? Which algal strains are good for petrolium yield.

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