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Revista ION

Print version ISSN 0120-100X


GONZALEZ-DELGADO, Ángel Darío  and  KAFAROV, Viatcheslav. Microalgae based biorefinery: evaluation of oil extraction methods in terms of efficiency, costs, toxicity and energy in lab-scale. Rev. ion [online]. 2013, vol.26, n.1, pp.27-39. ISSN 0120-100X.

Several alternatives of microalgal metabolites extraction and transformation are being studied for achieving the total utilization of this energy crop of great interest worldwide. Microalgae oil extraction is a key stage in microalgal biodiesel production chains and their efficiency affects significantly the global process efficiency. In this study, a comparison of five oil extraction methods in lab-scale was made taking as additional parameters, besides extraction efficiency, the costs of method performing, energy requirements, and toxicity of solvents used, in order to elucidate the convenience of their incorporation to a microalgae-based topology of biorefinery. Methods analyzed were Solvent extraction assisted with high speed homogenization (SHE), Continuous reflux solvent extraction (CSE), Hexane based extraction (HBE), Cyclohexane based extraction (CBE) and Ethanol-hexane extraction (EHE), for this evaluation were used the microalgae strains Nannochloropsis sp., Guinardia sp., Closterium sp., Amphiprora sp. and Navicula sp., obtained from a Colombian microalgae bioprospecting. In addition, morphological response of strains to oil extraction methods was also evaluated by optic microscopy. Results shows that although there is not a unique oil extraction method which excels in all parameters evaluated, CSE, SHE and HBE appears as promising alternatives, while HBE method is shown as the more convenient for using in lab-scale and potentially scalable for implementation in a microalgae based biorefinery.

Keywords : biorefinery; microalgae; oil extraction; sustainability.

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