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Applied Energy
Year: 2010  |  Volume: 87  |  Issue: 7  |  Page No.: 2420 - 2423

Thermal pre-treatment of wet microalgae harvest for efficient hydrocarbon recovery

K. Kita, S. Okada, H. Sekino, K. Imou, S. Yokoyama and T. Amano    

Abstract: Botryococcus braunii, a green colonial microalga, is an unusually rich renewable source of hydrocarbons. In this study, wet microalgae harvest was thermally pretreated to enhance hydrocarbon recovery using a solvent extraction process. Samples containing a mixture of B. braunii and water were kept below 100  °C for 10 min. The observed hydrocarbon recovery was 97.8% at 90 °C. The extraction results suggest that the energy-intensive concentration and drying processes of the harvest could be eliminated. The proposed thermal pretreatment would revolutionize the conventional downstream processes.

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