Exploring the Biofuel Potential of Isochrysis sp

by John R Williams

Institution: Western Washington University
Year: 2016
Keywords: Microalgae – Biotechnology; Biomass energy; Biodiesel fuels; Chemistry; Academic theses
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2131655
Full text PDF: http://cedar.wwu.edu/wwuet/503


A select few strains of marine microalgae, such as Isochrysis sp., produce high-melting (∼70 °C) lipids known as long-chain alkenones that detrimentally affect biodiesel fuel quality. A method has been developed for the production of an alkenone-free Isochrysis biodiesel. This material was prepared on sufficient scale to allow for extensive analysis according to ASTM standards. Results revealed that while cold flow improved by removal of these high-melting components, a cloud point was still unattainable due to the fuels dark pigment. Further effort in relating the presence of alkenones and the resulting cloud point of the biodiesel, led to decolorization of algal biodiesel in order to obtain a cloud point value. The decolorization of the biodiesel resulted in improved fuel properties and allowed for measurement of the cloud point of the fuel. In parallel to the biodiesel production from Isochrysis sp. value added products biosynthesized by the algae have been isolated and investigated for their ability to offset fuel prices. Advisors/Committee Members: O’Neil, Gregory W., Vyvyan, James, Bussell, Mark E..