Extraction of Oil from Algae by Solvent Extraction and Oil Expeller Method

Author(s): Niraj S. Topare, Sunita J. Raut, V. C. Renge, Satish V. Khedkar, Y. P. Chavan and S. L. Bhagat

Algae are a filamentous waste plant growing in any type of water such as fresh, sea water etc. Normally algae are regarded as a menace in water bodies. Algae oil is an interesting sustainable feedstock for biodiesel manufacturing. There are various methods for extracting the oil from algae, such as mechanical pressing, hexane solvent extraction etc. The paper discusses experimental method developed for the extraction of oil from algae which is obtained from open pond system. It is observed that the solvent extraction method recovers almost all the oil and leaves behind only 0.5% to 0.7% residual oil in the raw material. Because of the high percentage of recovered oil, solvent extraction is found to be an effective method for extraction of oils and fats, but is having disadvantage of being costly as compared to expeller method. An experimental investigation shows that expeller pressing method can recover 75% of the oil from algae. Even though expeller pressing method is an economical method than the hexane solvent extraction method, further to make this method more effective, some modifications in the design of expeller are required which will increase the recovery of oil.

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