(577d) Comparison of Solvents for the Extraction of Algal Oil and Conversion to Biodiesel

Graham, A., University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Dufreche, S., University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Bajpai, R., University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Fossil fuel demands are growing more and more each year and in order to supplement the ever increasing demand we need to develop new sources and types of fuel. One such fuel derived from animal fats or oils is known as Biodiesel. The primary constituents of biodiesel are fatty acid methyl esters. The goal of our research is to determine the viability of obtaining oil from algae cells, using the Accelerated Solvent Extractor (ASE), in order to produce Biofuels such as Biodiesel. The comparison of solvents will be measured against hexane, an industry standard. By comparing the efficiencies of these selected solvents we hope to achieve better extraction yields than pure hexane. Thus we hope to improve the industry standard and allow for a cheaper cost of production. Our research will compare the extraction efficiencies of different solvents and the saponifiable lipid yield obtained from the algae using these solvents. Further, the particle size of the dried algal biomass will be tested to try and determine an optimum particle size for yielding the largest amount of lipids. Another important parameter in the ASE extraction method is the static time. The static time is the amount of time the solvent is held in the cell at the beginning of each extraction. Differing values of time will be tested in order to determine the most efficient time that yields the most lipids.