Table of Contents
ISRN Renewable Energy
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 156824, 11 pages
Research Article

Feasibility Study for Production of Biofuel and Chemicals from Marine Microalgae Nannochloropsis sp. Based on Basic Mass and Energy Analysis

Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, The University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland 1142, New Zealand

Received 9 August 2011; Accepted 2 October 2011

Academic Editor: C. Muraleedharan

Copyright © 2012 Simon Jegan Porphy and Mohammed M. Farid. 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.


Algae are believed to be a good source of renewable energy because of their rapid growth rate and their ability to be cultivated in waste waters or waste land. The algae Nannochloropsis sp. was chosen for this study, where lipids were extracted and transesterified for biodiesel production. The FFA (free fatty acid) content in the lipid was estimated to be 27 wt% of the total fatty acids. The remaining biomass after lipid extraction was pyrolyzed at 200C, 300C, and 400C to produce solid, liquid, and gas products. The GC/MS showed that the lipids of Nannochloropsis sp. consist of high concentration of polyunsaturated fatty acids (29 wt%), eicosapentaenoic acid. The bio-oil produced from pyrolysis of algae biomass (after lipid extraction) at 300C was composed of 50 wt% acetone, 30 wt% methyl ethyl ketone and 19 wt% aromatics such as pyrazine and pyrrole. The heating value of bio-oil is 32 MJ/kg of oil.