Synthesis and Analysis of Bio-Diesel from Micro-Algae

With the ever-increasing demand for energy and impending depletion of fossil fuels together with environmental Impacts such as global warming and ozone layer depletion it has become necessary to research on sustainable sources of energy. Promising alternatives to conventional fossil fuels include algae biofuels, particularly algae. Its primary advantages deal with it being one of the most renewable fuels currently available and it is also non-toxic, environment friendly and biodegradable. It can also be used directly in most diesel engines without requiring extensive engine modifications.


The major objective was to synthesize biodiesel from microalgae biomass and study the effect on yields after bubbling carbon dioxide and crushing the biomass. Solvent extraction of bio-oil was performed followed by chemical base trans esterification to produce biodiesel.


 According to this study, results suggest that bubbling carbon dioxide and drying the cells alone does not increase lipid recovery. Rather, dried cells need to be mechanically ground in order to achieve good extraction, presumably through the disruption of the cell wall. The fractured membrane of the oven dried cell that had been ground is apparent and presumably part of the reason for the improved extraction yield. Gc/ms compositional analysis identified several fatty acid compounds including Hexadecenoic acid (C17H3202), Hxadecanoic acid and cis-9-hexadecenoic acid.


With extensive research, this project would contribute positively towards energy security and environmental conservation which are in line with the vision 2030.

Fourth Year Projects-2014-Gitura.pdf8.6 KB