What am I doing? Extracting Algae oil.

All aspects of extraction of oil from algae are discussed

What am I doing? Extracting Algae oil.

Postby BensonAlgae » Wed Nov 17, 2010 11:34 pm

It is time for the algae to be extracted for oil. Thanks to DR I will be expirmenting with filtering my nannochloroposis. I also use a centrifuge where I've obtained algae paste. I've read that there are many ways to extract the oil from algae. But what I can't find is how to go about doing so. I know about each method but I can't find steps on how to. I'm considering multiple ways that include:
Hexane
Using Steam, Pressure Cooker

With the hexane I am a bit hesitant of using the chemicals. If I do use it, I'm not sure how I would go about using it so I could get the oil.

Using steam I would want the cell walls to burst. I ama unsure how hot it would need to be or if it is even a decent method to use.
BensonAlgae
 
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Re: What am I doing? Extracting Algae oil.

Postby DR Johansen » Fri Nov 19, 2010 8:34 pm

Hi,
From some of your posts I get the impression that you are at university somewhere. Is that true? And if so, does your U have a cosmetics, neutrition, or bio-chem lab? The reason I ask is that such places often have a supercritical CO2 extractor and I have been DYING to have someone try that method. SC CO2 has the amazing ability to target and extract oils from deep inside plant materials. What a match!

It could be a thesis level research projest to optimize the extraction based on water content of the algae. In many methods you are supposed to start with dry algae. Don't know you have to with SC CO2.

Regarding steam, I know little about the method, I'm sorry.
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Re: What am I doing? Extracting Algae oil.

Postby DR Johansen » Fri Nov 19, 2010 8:44 pm

Ok. So being an engineer, I have to speculate about possible methods. Remember I said SPECULATE.

Seems to me the what is wanted is to get the water in the cell to boil faster that the steam generated can leak out, thereby bursting the walls and releasing the contents
.
I can think of two ways to do this, get the steam hitting the algae to be hot enough to raise the temperature quickly enough to do the job, or start with the algae in superheated water and flash boil the lot.

This second way seems to be the simplest way. All it would need is a heavy wall small diameter tube with a tiny orific in a plug at the end. Pump your algae paste into the tube at high pressure and heat it along the way. As it exits the end, flash, pop, oil (and everything else) all over the place.

I could be totally wrong about this. Does anyone else know?
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