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Biodiesel from Microalgae

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patrick beckley

on 22 February 2014

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Transcript of Biodiesel from Microalgae

By Phillis Emelda Ochieng, Daniel Waithaka & Patrick Beckley
Supervisors – Professor Kamau, Dr. Mwaniki

Production of Biodiesel From Wastewater Microalgae
photosynthetic small sized organisms

Requires light, H20, and CO2

Grow on suspended bodies of water

Made of carbohydrates, proteins, nucleic acids and fats in varying amounts.

Microalgae contain high content of biooil
Gathered 12kg of dry biomass

Recovered 10 L Hexane

Produced 115 mL of Bioil

Obtained 400 mL of Biodiesel
Algae Biofuel
Biooil is extracted from Plant biomass

Algae biooil has shown to have unparalleled yields compared to palm oil and jathropha

rapid growth rate

non-toxic and bio degradable

Doesn't compete with agriculture

Capture CO2 from environment and make oxygen
Soak in 18L Hexane for 24 hours

Filter Biomass from Hexane/Biooil

Separtate Biooil by distillation to recover Hexane

Use Methonol and Sodium Hydroxide to perform Transesterfication

Shake for 4 hours

let process settle for 19 hours

Separate Biodiesel from Glycerol
Alage Collection varied with time of day

Biooil could have azeotrope with hexane making distillation difficult

Calorific Value showed microalage is an efficient Sustainable Energy

Biomass residual left from the production of biodiesel at Raui are high in proteins, carbohydrates, and other nutrients
Thank You
Research and Developments
Algae grown in wastewater environments have become the most attractive place for innovation and development.

Reduces heavy metals

Cost effective treatment

Reduce the Phosphorus and Nitrogen in water

1. Newman, S. (2009). How Algae Biodiesel Works. How Stuff Works, 1(1),

2. Demibas, F. (2011). Biofuels from algae for sustainable development. Applied Energy, 88(10), 3473-3480.

3. Richardson, J., Johnson, M., & Outlaw, J. (2012). Economic comparison of open pond raceways to photo bio-reactors for profitable production of algae for transportation fuels in the Southwest. Algal Research , 1(1 ), 93-100.

4. Shen, Y., Yuan, W., Pei, Z., Wu, Q., & Mao, E. (2009). Microalgae mass production methods . Algal Research , 4(52), 1275-1287.

5. Trent, J. (2012). Offshore Membrane Enclosure for Growing Algae. NASA OMEGA Brochure , 1(1), 2.

6. Becker, J. (1994). Properties of Algae. Basics of Algae, 1(1), 5.

Major objective

To synthesize biodiesel from bio oil extracted from microalage at Raui.

Minor Objective

To harvest algae from the waste water facility lagoons, extract biooil, convert it in to biodiesel via base catalyzed chemical esterfication

To determine the calorific value of biooil, biodiesel and biomass after oil extraction

Calculate the renewablity factor of biodiesel

Increase in global energy demand is up 37% since 2000

Presently fossil fuels account for more than 75% of the world’s energy

Estimated 81 years left on fossil fuel

Need a renewable energy source

Global Scope
Alage Overgrowth at Raui Waterwater Plant
Stains treated water effluent into Nairobi River

Reduces the Biological Oxygen Demand

Reduces ascetic plant efficiency

What Can NWC do with alage overgrowth?
Research Objectives
Algae Collection

Biooil And Biodiesel Production
Bomb Calorimeter
Biodiesel surprisingly low calorific value when compared to biooil
Research Limitations
Future Studies
Time limit



Investigate the species of microalage at Ruai

Explore other methods of extraction

Test biodiesel Performance

Key Aspects
Alage was collected using buckets

Microalage separated easily

Transferred into Potato Sacks to release excess

sun dried

Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company can maximize efficiency by converting its algae into biodiesel
What is Microalage
Overgrowth of Algae mean larger land requirements, Oxygen depletion, and discoloration
Collection of alage need to be optimized

Recycling of hexane should not be the focus

Alage biooil has a high standard showing it can be highly profitable
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