Topics: Biofuel, Biodiesel, Petroleum Pages: 9 (2876 words) Published: December 11, 2012

The purpose of this experiment is to find an alternate fuel source that is more renewable that petroleum yet requires little change to the currently existing fuel infrastructure. An important part of any alternative fuel is that it must be cheaper to mass produce than gasoline or else it has lost a major advantage over petroleum. A promising alternative fuel source is biodiesel. Unlike ethanol, biodiesel can be used as a blend or pure biodiesel in standard diesel engines with little to no adaptations. It also burns a lot cleaner than petro diesel and can extend the life of the engine drastically. Procedure

Biodiesel is very versatile and can be produced from many different things. In most cases biodiesel can be produced by transesterification of free fatty acids in which a catalyst sodium hydroxide is mixed with an alcohol such as methanol or ethanol, washed, and separated into biodiesel and glycerol. For this project biodiesel from cyanobacteria will be investigated. Conclusion

In the end the goal is to improve the growth rate based on lighting, temperature, and nutrients. It would also be helpful to find a better carbon dioxide delivery system lowering fuel cost and increasing fuel production rate.


The purpose of this experiment is to find a reliable fuel source that was the capabilities to fit to out fuel demand of almost 17 billion barrels of oil a year. Algae are quite easily grown year round whether it is outside or in an indoor facility and can grow in practically any part of the world. Theoretically algae have the capabilities to meet our oil demand better than most green fuels being research today. The most important thing in order to obtain high algae yields is the light source, light exposure, nutrients and carbon dioxide levels. In this experiment light sources, nutrient sources, and carbon dioxide delivery systems will be tested to see which is the most effective. The expected results are that the LED grow lamp will increase the growth of algae as the grow lamps are built to supply light at a specific wavelength, and the carbonated water is expected to supply ample carbon dioxide to the algae and possible increase growth.

Review of Literature
Biofuels are fuels produced directly or indirectly from organic material, biomass, including plant materials and animal waste. Overall, biofuels covers approximately 10% of the total world energy demand and unprocessed biomass such as wood and charcoal accounts for most of this. These are considered primary biofuels as they represent the main source of energy for a large number of people in developing countries who use it mainly for cooking and heating. As technology advances it allows for further extraction of biofuels from wood, crops, and biowaste resulting in gaseous or liquid biofuel for even more applications including transportation. These more advanced fuels are considered secondary biofuels. The major difference between primary and secondary biofuels is that primary biofuels, such as firewood, wood chips and pellets, are used in an unprocessed form, primarily for heating, cooking or electricity production. However secondary biofuels result from processing of biomass and include liquid biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel that can be used in vehicles and industrial processes. This further divides biofuels up into two categories lipid extraction and fermentation, with biodiesel and ethanol at the top of the list. Ethanol is achieved through the fermentation process. Fermentation is a chemical reaction in which ferment causes an organic molecule to split into simpler substances; the most common example is yeast fermenting sugar to make ethyl alcohol. In fact a similar process is used to create bioethanol. The most common sources are derived from corn, sugarcane, and other crops that are harvested, broken down with enzymes, and fermented using bacteria. Scientist have even come up...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free