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Lipid Extraction from Wet-Algae for Biofuel Production

University of Colorado

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Technology Marketing SummaryThere is a growing interest in algal biofuels; however, current methods of a thermal separation process for solvent mixtures involve concomitant issues and increased energy consumption. A research team at the University of Colorado at Boulder led by John Pellegrino has developed a two-step membrane process which allows a solvent mixture to be used without the problems of concomitants and high energy expenditure that are usually inherent in a thermal separation process.Description

Dr. Pellegrino's team has developed a two-step membrane process which contacts a dewatered, but wet, algae stream (5-7% ash-free dry mass of solids) with mixed solvents and provides a concentrated lipid stream (with other fuel fungible organic species), a recyclable mixed solvent stream, and residual biomass that is vacuum-flashed to remove entrained solvent. The residual biomass is then suitable for further use as a co-product. There are several technical lever points, including that the use of membranes allows a solvent mixture to be used without the concomitant issues and energy consumption that would be inherent in a thermal separation process.

Applications and IndustriesBiofuels.
Technology Status
Technology IDDevelopment StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated
CU2489BProposedAvailable05/23/201205/23/2012

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To: Lola Underwood<lola.underwood@cu.edu>