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Optimization of an Oil Extraction Process for Algae from the Treatment of Manure Effluent


Increasing interest in the coupling of biological wastewater treatment processes with the generation of value-added products (such as oil containing ω-3 fatty acids (FA)) has stimulated efforts in adapting extraction methods for treatment byproducts. This study’s objective was to compare a high temperature/pressure extraction method (accelerated solvent extraction) (ASE) and a manual extraction method (modified Folch extraction) with regard to their ability to extract total oil from three algae samples from the treatment of dairy manure effluent. The efficiency of total oil and FA extraction with three solvents (chloroform/methanol, isopropanol/hexane, and hexane) was also evaluated using the ASE method. Results showed that the ASE method yielded higher values for total oil content compared to the Folch method but similar values for FA content and composition after four extraction cycles with chloroform/methanol. However, the ASE method yielded much higher amounts of FA in the first cycle (85–95% of total extracted) compared to the Folch method (44–55% of total extracted in the first cycle). As expected, the extraction efficiency of the ASE method for FA was dependent on the extraction solvent. FA content values using ASE with chloroform/methanol > isopropanol/hexane > hexane. FA content values using the Folch method or ASE with chloroform/methanol were not significantly influenced by sample particle size within the size range of 0.1–1 mm.

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Correspondence to Walter Mulbry.

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Mulbry, W., Kondrad, S., Buyer, J. et al. Optimization of an Oil Extraction Process for Algae from the Treatment of Manure Effluent. J Am Oil Chem Soc 86, 909–915 (2009).

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  • Accelerated solvent extraction
  • Algae
  • Manure
  • Bioenergy
  • Wastewater
  • Treatment