Synthesis | Biofuels | Extraction and Transesterification in a Single Step

Nowadays, obtaining valuable fuel from renewable resources is of considerable interest, not only due to the noticeable decrease of fossil fuel resources. This report demonstrates that microwave assistance in general in combination with unique features of nowadays available dedicated reactors are powerful tools for effective and efficient synthesis of biodiesel.

Biodiesel is a highly appreciated clean-burning, renewable substitute for petroleum diesel. It is mainly used for vehicles as an energy source which increases the energy security, improves public health and the environment, and which provides safety benefits.

Using microalgae as an alternative feedstock for biodiesel production has drawn special attention for many reasons, such as a fast growth rate, a potential for high lipid content and the ability to capture carbon dioxide emissions. However, due to cumbersome upstream and downstream processing algal biodiesel production is very expensive. Consequently, there is a need for improvement and optimization of these processes.

This report highlights a novel approach for the direct extraction of lipides from dry biomass with subsequent conversion into biodiesel, employing microwave-assisted heating in supercritical ethanol.

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