Disruption of Microalgal Cells for Biodiesel Production

Tuesday, November 9, 2010: 1:30 PM
251 E Room (Salt Palace Convention Center)
Ronald Halim, Michael Danquah and Paul Webley, Chemical Engineering, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia

The production of biodiesel from microalgae involves lengthy processing steps. Cell disruption is an integral part of this downstream protocol as it facilitates the release of the intracellular lipids that will be used for biodiesel production. This study examines different mechanical methods for the disruption of microalgae cells, including High Pressure Homogenization or HPH, ultrasonication and bead beating. The performance of cell disruption method was evaluated in terms of two key indicators: reduction in the intact cell counts per unit volume (C/C0) and reduction in the average diameters of microalgal colonies (D/D0). The most effective disruption was obtained using HPH (optimum C/C0 = 0.06, D/D0 = 0.35) followed by bead beating (optimum C/C0 = 0.55, D/D0 = 0.25). Even though ultrasonication failed to disrupt the microalgal cells (optimum C/C0 = 0.91), it still managed to disintegrate cellular agglomerations (optimum D/D0 = 0.23). It is hoped that the finding from this study can be used for future microalgal biofuel research.

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See more of this Session: Sustainable Diesel Fuel From Renewable Resources
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