Production of Biofuel from Microalgae

ZULAIHA A ZUBAIR, A.A Aguta, A.O. Daniel

Abstract


This research paper discusses the attention that biodiesel has received in recent years. Biodiesel is a renewable and toxic free form of fuel and when combusted it emits minimum gaseous air pollutants when compared to fossil fuel. When used in diesel engines can also work very well without extra modifications. Transesterification is the most common method of biodiesel production. The microalgae oil is trans-esterified in the presence of alcohol and a catalyst to obtain Fatty Acid Methyl Esters (Fame) or Fatty Acid Ethyl Ester (FAEE) and glycerine.

Microalgae are used as a biofuel source and quite attractive because of its ability to photosynthesise the energy from the sun and turn it into renewable energy. Microalgae, grows almost in any environment and has a very fast growth rate, in turn, having high lipid content. They also fixate CO2 in the process of photosynthesis and they do so better than other agricultural crops. Carbon fixation helps in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

The report investigates the insitu transesterification process as a means of efficiently producing biodiesel from microalgae. Insitu trans-esterification is a single step method of processing microalgae which does not require the extraction of the lipids before trans-esterification, thereby saving time energy and waste.


Keywords


Microalgae, Transesterification, Biodiesel, FAME, FAEE

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