Wednesday, November 10, 2010: 3:45 PM
Cottonwood (Marriott Downtown)
Optimization of Microwave-assisted transesterification of dry algae (Nannochloropsis sp.) biomass was investigated using response surface methodology (RSM) for biodiesel production. This process allows for simultaneous extraction and transesterification of dry algal biomass. The energy consumptions in the transesterification processes with microwave heating and conventional heating (Direct Methanolysis) methods for dry algae biomass were evaluated. A response surface methodology (RSM) was used to analyze the influence of the three process variables, namely, the dry algae to methanol (wt/vol) ratio (1:9 to 1:15), the catalyst concentration (2 to 4 wt %), and the reaction time (3 to 9 min) on the FAMEs conversion. The characterization of dry algal biomass was done with SEM-EDS, TEM and XRD while the analysis of algal biodiesel samples was carried out using ATR-FTIR, GC-MS and thin layer chromatography (TLC) methods.