Click here for more information about Algenuity
Click here for more information about Liqofluxphenometrics515R1
Visit cricatalyst.com!Evodos Separation Technology

Technology

Pulsed Electric Field pre-treatment of algae for oil extraction

October 24, 2016
AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com

A typical PEF system

A typical PEF system consists of (1) a power supply to convert utility power to high voltage DC power, (2) a high voltage pulse modulator to transform the DC power into short pulses for electroporation of the cells in the slurry, and (3) a treatment chamber through which the slurry flows, and where the high voltage pulses are applied.

Diversified Technology Inc.’s PowerMod, employing Pulsed Electric Field (PEF) technology, is a low cost, low energy process that applies high voltage electric pulses to an algal slurry. These very short, high intensity pulses rupture the algal cells, increasing the availability of intracellular materials such as lipids, proteins, pigments, etc., for downstream separation from the supernatant. The process is in-line, low energy, scalable, and can be performed on concentrated slurries.

In DTI’s patented process, PEF treatment is applied to algal material (or other biomass) as it is pumped in a slurry through a treatment chamber, where the material is subjected to short, high voltage pulses, typically 1-10 microseconds in length. The electric field from these pulses “electroporates” the cell wall, rupturing it, and causing the cell’s contents to flow into the surrounding solution. PEF processing requires very short in-chamber treatment times, enabling very large throughputs in a continuous-flow process. The PEF process has been proven in food disinfection and wastewater processing, where it is in commercial use.

A typical PEF system consists of (1) a power supply to convert utility power to high voltage DC power, (2) a high voltage pulse modulator to transform the DC power into short pulses for electroporation of the cells in the slurry, and (3) a treatment chamber through which the slurry flows, and where the high voltage pulses are applied.

PEF can significantly reduce the costs of the extraction of lipids, proteins, and other valuable intra-cellular compounds from algal cells, according to DTI.

Lipids are conventionally liberated from algal cells through drying and the use of solvents (such as hexane or methanol). Drying alone accounts for as much as 75% of the total energy used in the extraction process. The amount of energy within the biofuel produced is only slightly greater than the amount of energy used by the drying process itself.

Spectrophotometric wavelength scans

Spectrophotometric wavelength scans illustrate the release of multiple pigments in Chlorella vulgaris after PEF treatment at different intensities.

These expensive extraction processes contribute significantly to the high overall cost of producing biofuels. DTI estimates the cost of PEF treatment to be 1/10th the cost of drying microalgae using conventional methods, allowing wet extraction techniques to be applied. Alternative approaches using wet extraction, such as presses, bead mills, or ultrasonic lysing are significantly more energy intensive than PEF.

The basic effectiveness of PEF pre-treatment for algal biofuels has been demonstrated, but not yet quantified. Initial experiments have clearly shown that PEF lyses algal cells. DTI is currently working with Arizona State University’s Arizona Center for Algae Technology and Innovation (AzCATI) to determine the effectiveness of PEF across a range of algal species and potential products. The objective of these efforts is to determine optimal PEF processing protocols, and how best to integrate them with downstream extraction processes, to achieve the highest performance at the lowest cost.

In related applications, PEF processing has been implemented for commercial-scale processes in food processing and wastewater treatment. The same hardware, and controls used in these related applications can be directly applied to algal product extraction.

More Like This…

HOME A.I.M. Archives

Copyright ©2010-2017 AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com. All rights reserved. Permission required to reprint this article in its entirety. Must include copyright statement and live hyperlinks. Contact editorial@algaeindustrymagazine.com. A.I.M. accepts unsolicited manuscripts for consideration, and takes no responsibility for the validity of claims made in submitted editorial.

twittertopbarlinks_eventstopbarlinks_requesttopbarlinks_archives

From The A.I.M. Archives

— Refresh Page for More Choices
Bioenergy-news.com reports that Volkswagen showcased its algae biogas-powered vehicle at a biogas project based in El Torno Chiclana, a town in south-west Spain. The test...
Prior posts highlight the value proposition for building a Green Friendship Bridge of algae microfarms in lieu of 1%, (13 miles) of Donald Trump’s proposed border wall wi...
Natural Icelandic astaxanthin supplier, ArcticFarma, has reached an agreement with a subsidiary of China-based BGG to rename itself in order to avoid market confusion. “B...
In New Zealand is an internationally significant collection of microalgae cultures known as the Cawthron Institute Culture Collection of Microalgae (CICCM). The CICCM was...
Jill Fehrenbacher writes in inhabitat.com that when it comes to design, Mother Nature has a lot to teach us. The field of Biodesign has emerged as an exciting new discipl...
Since hydrogen fuel cells produce electricity, we are increasingly thinking about hydrogen as a successor to crude oil. But where will the hydrogen come from? Its ecologi...
Nicolas Sainte-Foie writes for Labiotech.eu about French startup Algopack manufacturing bio-based plastics made from brown algae. Founded by Rémy Lucas in 2010 and manage...
Dan Wood, at the University of Connecticut, writes that assistant extension educator of marine aquaculture at UConn’s Avery Point Campus, Anoushka Concepcion, spoke about...
The genome of the fuel-producing green microalga Botryococcus braunii has been sequenced by a team of researchers led by a group at Texas A&M AgriLife Research. The r...
Carl Zimmer writes in The New York Times about a team of Australian scientists studying how climate change will alter ecosystems – by using miniature ecosystems, called m...
Algatech has announced the opening of Algatech Inc., a New York City-based subsidiary created to serve the North American market. The company has appointed Ken Seguine to...
Memory Maninga reports for Zambia Daily Mail that in Mansa, the capital of the Luapula Province of Zambia, spirulina is being grown in ponds in the communities because of...