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Algal FAME production with a NOVEL surfactant based catalyst in a reactive extraction

Lookup NU author(s): Kamoru Salam, Dr Sharon Velasquez OrtaORCiD, Professor Adam Harvey


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One major challenge in conventional algal biodiesel production is the high energy requirement of the drying and solvent extraction steps. The high solvent requirement, (usually hexane) for the oil extraction in this process also has a significant environmental impact. Alternatively, biodiesel production could take place via in situ transesterification (?reactive extraction?). In this process fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) is produced directly from micro-algal biomass using methanol containing a catalyst. This approach is simpler and potentially more cost-effective, because of its elimination of the solvent extraction. The current study involved development of a novel surfactant catalyst (zirconium dodecyl sulphate) for usage in the?reactive extraction? of FAME from Chlorella vulgaris and Nannochloropsis occulata. Additionally, the FAME yield produced when using sodium dodecyl sulphate and H2SO4 catalyst was investigated. Microalgae was also characterised before and after the reactive extraction in terms of carbohydrate and protein content. For Chlorella strains a maximum 67wt% FAME yield was reached at 24 hours by the sodium dodecyl sulphate and H2SO4 catalyst; 54wt% FAME yield by the H2SO4 catalyst. For the Nannochloropsis a maximum 75wt% FAME yield was reached at 12 hours by the sodium dodecyl sulphate and H2SO4 catalyst; 44wt% FAME yield by the H2SO4 catalyst. At 12 hours the FAME yields produced by the zirconium dodecyl sulphate were 67wt% for Nannochloropsis and 8wt% for the Chlorella. In conclusion this finding shows that:.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Salam KA, Velasquez-Orta SB, Harvey AP

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: 2013 AIChE Annual Meeting

Year of Conference: 2013

Pages: 65-70

Publisher: AIChE


Notes: Process Development Division 2013 - Core Programming Area at the 2013 AIChE Annual Meeting: Global Challenges for Engineering a Sustainable Future

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9781634390521