AFS Unveils Energy Efficient Oil Extraction Method
South San Francisco, California – February 3rd, 2009 – Algae Floating Systems, Inc. (AFS) unveiled today its proprietary oil extraction method. The method bypasses energy intensive drying process altogether as it allows the company to extract lipids from wet biomass. Instead of a more traditional mechanical pressing of lipids from dry material, the company adds a proprietary catalyst to wet biomass and then uses ultrasound technology to fully disrupt microalgae cells. After the cells are disrupted, the solution is centrifuged to separate algal oil, water and algal cake. Most of the catalyst is recycled back into the process.
Moving away from drying process of biomass that is 85 percent water allows the company to save 215 MMBtu/hr per 10MGY of extracted algal oil, and adding the catalyst cuts the energy use by a factor of ten.
The company claims to discover a low-cost proprietary catalyst that is added to the harvested microalgae to shorten the time and, therefore, energy requirement for ultrasonic disruption. The tests have revealed that the energy requirements to achieve equivalent results of ultrasonic cell disruption are 5 to 6 Watts per liter of algal suspension under base conditions and below 0.5 Watts per liter under catalytic conditions.
AFS will contract with the world’s leading manufacturers to supply serially produced industrial ultrasound and separation equipment for this process.
Algae Floating Systems is a company that develops and deploys algae-based carbon capture and sequestration systems for power plants and industrial facilities that profitably convert CO2 and solar energy into renewable fuels and other valuable products. In the long term the company plans to deploy AFS Biofarms™ offshore to maximize the efficiency, cost and footprint of the systems. http://www.algaefloatingsystems.com
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