Refining wet algae?

All aspects of extraction of oil from algae are discussed

Refining wet algae?

Postby mcm1303 » Mon Oct 26, 2009 2:37 am

First post.

I've been reading about oil extraction methods. What if you could take wet algae and put it in a boiler that is connected directly to a fractional distiller? Would the heat (and pressure) be enough to break the cell walls?

But then what? Would the steam content interfere with the extraction of fuels?

Marlin
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Re: Refining wet algae?

Postby afreeman1984 » Mon Oct 26, 2009 2:29 pm

Oils should separate from water whether or not its hot or cold. I think doing this kind of method with other factors is enough to work. If you add lots of ions that the cells will allow into their membrane, the cells become turgid and ready to burst. If you boil them then, it probably would be an efficient means of extraction. Should be able to pull the oils right off the top since they will be organic and the water will be inorganic. If you need any help i assist in developing these kinds of projects. Cheers
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Re: Refining wet algae?

Postby DR Johansen » Tue Oct 27, 2009 8:38 am

I don't know. Won't that just cook and dry out the algae?

Maybe if you superheated it while pressurized, and the squirted it thru a pressure reduction nozzle to a much lower pressure, exploding the cell in the process...

The cell wall is tough, I'm not sure just boiling it will work.

If you try it and prove me wrong, PLEASE POST!!!!!!
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Re: Refining wet algae?

Postby mcm1303 » Tue Oct 27, 2009 9:08 am

Ah, OK, I see that this topic, more or less, was discussed here:
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=151 which is a discussion on Gassification and Pyrolysis.
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Re: Refining wet algae?

Postby mcm1303 » Tue Oct 27, 2009 9:17 am

Well, here's a thought: Mechanical pressure is used to lyse the cells and release the oil. Why not use the pressure cooker approach to do a similar thing but instead of mechanical pressure use steam pressure. You can easily control the steam pressure by a relief valve. It might actually be possible to make this a continuous process.

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Re: Refining wet algae?

Postby DR Johansen » Wed Oct 28, 2009 6:10 am

mcm1303 wrote:Well, here's a thought: Mechanical pressure is used to lyse the cells and release the oil. Why not use the pressure cooker approach to do a similar thing but instead of mechanical pressure use steam pressure. You can easily control the steam pressure by a relief valve. It might actually be possible to make this a continuous process.

I think the distinction is that with mechanical pressure, you are pressing from two sides and the internals squeeze out around the middle. With steam pressure, the whole cell is under uniform pressure all around, so no squeezing out.

If on the other hand you put the internals under high tempreature when pressurized, then release the pressure, the internals might explode out. This too could be a continuous process. But I don't recall ever seeing it done.

Anyone?
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Re: Refining wet algae?

Postby 10hpcar » Fri Oct 30, 2009 3:20 am

Use steam as the carrying gas before it hits the still. It's how I do it. A few other tricks to, but super heated steam gets the oils out.
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Re: Refining wet algae?

Postby DR Johansen » Fri Oct 30, 2009 9:31 am

Sounds like what you are using is the heat, not the pressure. Sounds like you are using the superheated steam to boil the algae and have it burst from INTERNAL pressure, not external. Interesting. How efficient is it? Would very hot air or N2 do it as well or better?

Another option may be to use high pressure gas and let it absorb thru the walls, then release the pressure as thru an orific and let the algae develop are REALLY bad case of the bends! Properly done, you may be able to recuperate a lot of the pressure via a vortex re-generator.
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Re: Refining wet algae?

Postby gerrelli » Fri Nov 27, 2009 10:06 pm

DR Johansen wrote:
mcm1303 wrote:Well, here's a thought: Mechanical pressure is used to lyse the cells and release the oil. Why not use the pressure cooker approach to do a similar thing but instead of mechanical pressure use steam pressure. You can easily control the steam pressure by a relief valve. It might actually be possible to make this a continuous process.

I think the distinction is that with mechanical pressure, you are pressing from two sides and the internals squeeze out around the middle. With steam pressure, the whole cell is under uniform pressure all around, so no squeezing out.

If on the other hand you put the internals under high tempreature when pressurized, then release the pressure, the internals might explode out. This too could be a continuous process. But I don't recall ever seeing it done.

Anyone?


Mechanical pressure requires energy to operate the mechanics therefore making a net energy loss, I use steam to rapidly dry wet algae before moving to the next stage, if I could recycle the steam to power a mechanical press this should reduce (recycle) the net energy used for overall production, with an aim to reduce the overall cost of production. Does this sound feasible?
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Re: Refining wet algae?

Postby hogg » Sun Nov 29, 2009 11:30 am

For a small operation, could a the Wringers off a vintage Wringer Washer work to crush the lipids and release the oil?
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