School of Health Sciences
Algae, Biofuel, Triacylglyceride, Transesterification, Optimization
Ferenczy, Erik, "Algae Biofuel Triacylglyceride Transesterification Optimization" (2018). Senior Honors Theses. 783.
Algae biofuels may hold the key to solving the problem of fossil fuel consumption by being comparable in content, renewable, and carbon-neutral. Many biofuel researchers and corporations have undertaken to increase the production rate or capacity of triacylglycerides (TAG), the fat precursor to biodiesel fuel produced by algae, in algae cultures and published articles documenting their findings. This research is devoted to evaluating the effect of water that may be present in samples on the conversion efficiency of TAG into fatty acid methyl esters (FAME), commonly referred to as biodiesel. Therefore, that efficiency was studied to find the water content which optimizes the yield and determine if further drying of algae was necessary as an additional step in sample preparation. The results showed that the water content typically present in lyophilized algae samples is not sufficient to appreciably inhibit the reaction efficiency and necessitate extensive drying as a sample preparation step prior to transesterification.