Refining wet algae?

All aspects of extraction of oil from algae are discussed

Re: Refining wet algae?

Postby DR Johansen » Sun Nov 29, 2009 10:30 pm

gerrelli wrote: 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?
Several things:
    * the efficiency of a heat conversion device is dependant on the temperature difference and the absolute temperature.
    * the act of using high temperature steam to quick dry algae will certainly lower its temperature significantly
    * using the lower temperature "post algae" steam will not be as efficient for the mechnaical process as would using the pre-algae steam.
Perhaps the best thing would be to use the steam to run your mechanical process FIRST, the use the outlet steam to dry the algae. This MIGHT increase the overall efficiency.
Good luck!
DR Johansen
 
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Re: Refining wet algae?

Postby hogg » Sun Nov 29, 2009 11:17 pm

Doc,
Dry and wad up a handfull of Algae.
The, then press that through a wringer washer or a Garlic press...and get a smidgen of oily 'stuff' !
Now its time to take the Oil out of the oily stuff.

What next?
hogg
 
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Re: Refining wet algae?

Postby DR Johansen » Mon Nov 30, 2009 11:04 pm

hogg wrote:Doc,
Dry and wad up a handfull of Algae.
The, then press that through a wringer washer or a Garlic press...and get a smidgen of oily 'stuff' !
Now its time to take the Oil out of the oily stuff.

What next?
Greetings Hogg,
"DR" is my initials, not a title. I am just a bachelor of engineering, not a PhD. :(

The owner of this site has done a MARVELOUS job in putting together the basics of algae to algaeoleum (he likes the term oilgae, hence the site name!). Along the top of each page are tabs for "Algae Basics", "Algae Cultivation", etc. Click on "Harvest and Extraction" and read around in there. Several methods are mentioned.

I myself am pretty interested in the supercritical fluid extraction method, but that is not for the typical hobbyist or back-yard entrepreneur. Given supercritical CO2 extraction, I don't think the crushing phase would be necessary, but I can't find anyone with the facilities to prove me right or wrong. Oh well!
DR Johansen
 
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Re: Refining wet algae?

Postby hogg » Tue Dec 01, 2009 12:12 am

I knew it was your initials. Doc is good though, don't you think? :D
I was in my third semester of M.E. when I had to quit. I was getting hungry and there was no food unless I worked.
I'd starve prisoners :x in order to get kids who want college the money to go to college. I wish I could have finished. :cry:

I read all those tabs. Nothing I read told me exactly what to do. If you know of the UltraSonic method, point it out to me.
I need help.
Also there is a method of Distilling using Hexane as a solvent. I have not seen any details on that one.
Those two sound like the best shots for a small operator like me.
hogg
 
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Re: Refining wet algae?

Postby Algae Maffiosi » Thu Sep 09, 2010 3:05 am

For lab scale all these methods are great. Put them in series and i bet all your cells break. Energy input does not really matter for lab scale processing. But for large scale setups the energy required to cultivate and procces the algae biomass has a large impact on the overal energy balance (energy input has to be less then the energy you get in the form of oil/biomass other wise its meaningless to produce oil in the first place.) and as well on the overal economics: cost price of 1L of diesel is around 40eurocents. That price range is our main goal. If you find the the way to do this i can garanty you: You will be famous! (and prob. filty rich.. )

How to separate biomass and water followed by how to crack open the algae cells in a cheap way is the major bottleneck in algae biofuel production.

If you have acces to journals check out some work of Y. Chisti for some nice economic evaluations.
Algae Maffiosi
 
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Re: Refining wet algae?

Postby DR Johansen » Thu Sep 16, 2010 5:40 am

[/quote]
hogg wrote: I knew it was your initials. Doc is good though, don't you think? :D
Yup, I get it all the time. I just want to make sure folks aren't looking to me for more than I can provide!
hogg wrote: I was in my third semester of M.E. when I had to quit. I was getting hungry and there was no food unless I worked.
I'd starve prisoners :x in order to get kids who want college the money to go to college. I wish I could have finished. :cry:
Maybe we should make the prisoners work and provide the $ to college kids? Hmmm.
hogg wrote:I read all those tabs. Nothing I read told me exactly what to do. If you know of the UltraSonic method, point it out to me.
Sorry, that is out of my area. You mentioned a washing machine roller and someone (you?) also mentioned a garlic press. The "press" method seems fairly popular, but it won't be a GARLIC press!
hogg wrote:I need help.
Also there is a method of Distilling using Hexane as a solvent. I have not seen any details on that one.
If you can get hexane (essentially gasoline without the additives), the process is simple but not necessarily easy. As you suspected, you dissolve the oil with the hexane. Basically, just mix them together and then remove the solids from the liquids [settle and decant? strain (coffee filter)?] Then, using a still and realizing that hexane is WAY explosive when vaporized, CAREFULLY distill the hezane out of the oil. Reuse the hexane and do what you will with the oil.
The hard part I think might be to find a suitable still. The easy part would be to find the appropriate temperatures for hexane boiling, etc via the internet. You do have access to the internet, right? :D
DR Johansen
 
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Re: Refining wet algae?

Postby hogg » Thu Sep 16, 2010 6:01 am

I've quit hoping. :(
I doubt if anybody has ever made the first Cupful of the stuff. Not anybody on this forum anyway.

When it happens, I hope whoever makes it happen will share it with us.
hogg
 
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