Chen Zhang

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering (MSE)


Chemical and Materials Engineering

Committee Chair

James E. Smith, Jr.

Committee Member

Yu Lei

Committee Member

Bernhard Vogler


Microalgae, Biodiesel fuels, Renewable energy sources


A novel procedure, ASAPALLE, for lipid extraction from wet algae, Nannochloropsis Salina, was developed and reported. This method does not require pre-dehydration of algal biomass and the total extraction time needed is under one minute. The ASAPALLE extraction was compared with hexane Soxhlet extraction to evaluate the lipid extraction efficiency and the lipid profile. Algal lipid yield of the ASAPALLE extraction was 14.3% of the total dry algal biomass weight, while the hexane Soxhlet extraction after 18 hours yielded 7.9% of algal lipid. The total lipid content was approximately 14.6%, determined by a modified Bligh-Dyer method. The quality of the algal lipids was evaluated by thin layer chromatography. The results indicated that the lipid profile of the lipid extracts from the ASAPALLE extraction had similar Rf values to that from the hexane Soxhlet extraction. The energy expenditure of this extraction technique, as a batch process, is 2.44 MJ per 1 kg of dry algal biomass, assuming the algal culture has concentration of 1 g/L of algal biomass. This study suggests that the ASAPALLE extraction shows great potential for algal lipid extraction for the sustainable production of biodiesel.



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