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Properties of Biodiesel Produced by Enzymatic Transesterification of Lipids Extracted from Microalgae in Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Medium

Authors: Sulaiman Al-Zuhair, Yousef Haik, Hanifa Taher, Ali H. Al-Marzouqi, Mohammed Farid


Biodiesel, as an alternative renewable fuel, has been receiving increasing attention due to the limited supply of fossil fuels and the increasing need for energy. Microalgae are promising source for lipids, which can be converted to biodiesel. The biodiesel production from microalgae lipids using lipase catalyzed reaction in supercritical CO2 medium has several advantages over conventional production processes. However, identifying the optimum microalgae lipid extraction and transesterification conditions is still a challenge. In this study, the quality of biodiesel produced from lipids extracted from Scenedesmus sp. and their enzymatic transesterification using supercritical carbon dioxide have been investigated. At the optimum conditions, the highest biodiesel production yield was found to be 82%. The fuel properties of the produced biodiesel, without any separation step, at optimum reaction condition, were determined and compared to ASTM standards. The properties were found to comply with the limits, and showed a low glycerol content, without any separation step.

Keywords: Biodiesel, Microalgae, supercritical CO2, lipase, fuel standards

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