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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 930686, 6 pages
Research Article

Direct Biodiesel Production from Wet Microalgae Biomass of Chlorella pyrenoidosa through In Situ Transesterification

1State Key Laboratory of Microbial Metabolism, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China
2School of Life Science and Biotechnology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China

Received 7 June 2013; Revised 18 August 2013; Accepted 29 August 2013

Academic Editor: Stefano Curcio

Copyright © 2013 Hechun Cao et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A one-step process was applied to directly converting wet oil-bearing microalgae biomass of Chlorella pyrenoidosa containing about 90% of water into biodiesel. In order to investigate the effects of water content on biodiesel production, distilled water was added to dried microalgae biomass to form wet biomass used to produce biodiesel. The results showed that at lower temperature of 90°C, water had a negative effect on biodiesel production. The biodiesel yield decreased from 91.4% to 10.3% as water content increased from 0% to 90%. Higher temperature could compensate the negative effect. When temperature reached 150°C, there was no negative effect, and biodiesel yield was over 100%. Based on the above research, wet microalgae biomass was directly applied to biodiesel production, and the optimal conditions were investigated. Under the optimal conditions of 100 mg dry weight equivalent wet microalgae biomass, 4 mL methanol, 8 mL n-hexane, 0.5 M H2SO4, 120°C, and 180 min reaction time, the biodiesel yield reached as high as 92.5% and the FAME content was 93.2%. The results suggested that biodiesel could be effectively produced directly from wet microalgae biomass and this effort may offer the benefits of energy requirements for biodiesel production.